Obsessed With the Outlander Theme Song?

I originally intended to feature an instrumental Main Title. I’ve actually never composed a Main Title theme that featured lyrics before. I decided to bring Raya in to see how this melody would sound with lyrics. Immediately, I could tell her uniquely timeless vocal quality would bring something special to Outlander.

~ Bear McCreary

Here’s Why It’s So Special, Especially Season 5’s Version.

Remember when you were a kid, and every TV show had a catchy theme song? Somewhere along the way those little jingles fell out of style—and although some shows still have them, they’re often just instrumentals. Not so for Outlander, currently in its fifth season on Starz. This genre-bending, time-traveling show returned to the past in more ways than one—but instead of the cheesy ear worms of old sitcoms, audiences are treated to a mystical, lyrical song that’s hauntingly beautiful, along with gorgeous visuals that give viewers a sneak peek of the upcoming season. But how did its creators come up with the Outlander theme song? Here’s how it came to be.

Who wrote the Outlander theme song?

Outlander’s theme song was arranged by Bear McCreary, one of the top composers working in television today. He also wrote the theme songs for other shows such as The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, Black Sails and Battlestar Gallactica.

But McCreary didn’t actually write the original melody for Outlander—he adapted it from a traditional Scottish folk tune called “The Skye Boat Song.” Words were written for the song in the 1870s by Sir Harold Boulton, but the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson thought he could do better, and rewrote them a couple decades later. “The words…seemed unworthy, so he made a new set of verses more in harmony with the plaintive tune,” Stevenson’s wife wrote in a preface in the author’s Complete Poems.


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