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The Wire almost had a different theme song by... the Cowboy Junkies???
2024/04/10

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"The Wire" has become synonymous with many things, including its iconic theme song, "Way Down in The Hole." The story behind how the song became the show's theme is as interesting as the events of the show itself. 

Creator David Simon, a longtime fan of Tom Waits, first used the musician's tunes in an episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street." When he started working on "The Wire," Simon went back to Waits' music to find a suitable theme song. After struggling with a different song, Simon stumbled upon "Way Down in the Hole," which perfectly represented the drudgery and pain of the show.

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With the right version of the song found, Simon had to get permission from Waits to use it. After several attempts, Simon finally reached Waits, who had trouble working a VCR until his wife helped him. Waits approved the use of the song, and "Way Down in the Hole" became the iconic theme song for "The Wire." Each season, a different performer recorded their version of the song, reflecting the show's changing tonalities.

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