The True Opening Theme to The New People

This is frankly very embarrassing. For the past six years I’ve thought that the theme I have included in my article on The New People is the correct opening theme. I was wrong. What I’ve been presenting as the opening theme is apparently just another version of the closing credits. Here’s what happened. Only one episode of the series — the pilot — is circulating among private collectors (although all the episodes are held at UCLA’s Film & Television Archive) and it doesn’t include an opening theme or opening credits. It does have closing credits and a closing theme.

Here’s what happened.

I thought I had a copy of the opening theme, one that was originally recorded using a reel to reel recorder way back in 1969 along with dozens of other television theme songs. While digitizing the audio cassette containing the contents of this reel to reel, I rediscovered another version of the theme that I had dismissed years ago as a duplicate. Unfortunately, it is of very poor quality. Nevertheless, one can obviously hear the lyrics and they don’t completely match the lyrics from the much better quality closing theme taken from the pilot episode.

Here’s the closing theme from the pilot episode and the lyrics:

Listen to the Closing Theme to The New People (Pilot Version)

The New People,
Starting out alone.
Far away from home and friends.
What kind of world will they create?
Facing the problems of man.
Thousands of years haven’t solved them,
Yet all of them think they can,

The New People,
Starting from day one,
And for each of them,
Time has just begun.

And here’s what I thought was the opening theme. It is identical to the above closing theme with the exception of one line being omitted (“Far away from home and friends” after “Starting out alone”):

Listen to the Closing Theme to The New People (Reel to Reel Version)

The New People,
Starting out alone.
What kind of world will they create?
Facing the problems of man.
Thousands of years haven’t solved them,
Yet all of them think they can.

The New People,
Starting from day one.
And for each of them,
Time has just begun.

This is what I believe to be the true opening theme, recently rediscovered. It matches almost perfectly the lyrics provided by fan T.G. who amazingly recalled them decades after last seeing an episode of The New People:

Listen to the Opening Theme to The New People (Reel to Reel Version)

The New People,
Starting out alone.
Far away from home and friends.
They’re young people,
Young but still aware.
Young but old enough to care.
[T.G. has “Young with all they love to care” here]

What kind of world will they create?
Facing the problems of man.
Thousands of years haven’t solved them,
Yet all of them think they can.

The New People,
Starting from day one.
And for each of them,
Time has just begun
The New People.
The New People.

So there you have it. It appears, based on these audio files, that for some reason there were two versions of the closing theme song, one of which included an extra line. Perhaps it was only used during the pilot episode. If additional episodes are ever made available — or if someone can watch them at UCLA’s Film & Television Archive — perhaps we can finally know for sure.

1 Comment

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    Theme songs heard in pilot epsiodes of most TV series are sometimes different from what viewers usually heard in the actual series- if you’ve ever seen BOTH unaired pilots of “STAR TREK”, Alex Courage composed two different themes; the first one (featured in the Jeffrey Hunter’s “The Cage”) was utilized in the series…and even THEN, an “alternate” version, minus Shatner’s familiar opening narration, was used in the opening/closing titles of the “official” version of “Where No Man Has Gone Before”.

    Obviously, the same thing happened with “THE NEW PEOPLE”. IF any of you are lucky enough to visit the UCLA Film & Television Archive and gain access to those elusive 17 episodes, let ‘RG’ know!

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