Muine Bheag

  • Mar 26, 2023
Screen Dream

Was it intentional that this assignment is due literally the very minute that the show with one of the greatest theme songs of all time comes back? #succession


The prestige-y fictional werewolf show I wrote this theme song for is Irish, and probably on one of the streaming services I don’t yet have. I think it was based on a book that was popular in 2017. Actually I think it’s a remake of a Dutch show that was based on the book. The book is Dutch. And the Dutch show apparently was incredible and super dark. Kind of an extremely dark comedy, I think But you know, subtitles. But apparently it’s worth watching with the subtitles. It’s about werewolves, but not sexy werewolves, based in a small lumber town in rural Ireland, But it’s not really a gory horror show – it’s more about how… you know… the scariest monsters of all are… the people. You know? And people can change suddenly too, just like werewolves. Sometimes, we hurt the people we love most, seemingly out of our control. Just like werewolves. The acting is good, and I think someone from Dr Who is in it? I think he plays like a shopkeeper? Letitia Wright plays a traveler who is staying in the town. And Kenneth Branagh plays the dad who I think is the first werewolf in the town. Jessie Buckley plays a local cop who’s married to Domhnall Gleeson. Or is it Brian Gleeson? I think there’s also someone from the Harry Potter movies in it. I saw the trailer and it looked great. No Chris O’Dowd or Barry Keoghan or Saoirse Ronan in this one though. 

It’s called like Howlers East of Cork or something. Or Dublin Dogs? Or like the name of a town? Like Rathdowny? West Gorey? I like that because gory, even though as I said earlier, it’s not a gory show. Or Muine Bheag. Yes, let’s go with Muine Bheag because it sounds like “Moon Big.” 

This 2:20 length version of my theme is only in the pilot episode, and then they cut it down to 1:38 for future eps (fun fact: the Twin Peaks theme for the pilot was 2:30, and then they cut it down to 90 seconds. Other long but great theme songs include: Sopranos (1:39 seconds), Westworld (1:50), Succession (1:33), The Simpsons (1:18), GoT (1:48). 

The intro sequence shows stylized weird closeups of various objects that eventually you realize become important to the central mystery of the show. Has anyone seen Bad Sisters? It’s an Irish show that Nora and I loved that I very loosely based this on. The Bad Sisters theme is a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire” and I think it’s great. Going for that type of trope.

Looking for feedback on

would you watch this show?


nick April 13, 2023 11:51am

Love your stream of consciousness descriptions. Yeah fun moves arrangement/progression wise. I’m also curious @@ryan how you created the progression… keys, guitar, or midi first? And yes of course I would watch this show.

Ben September 11, 2023 2:32pm

iirc: voice memo gtr -> logic gtr to click -> sounded too much like Exit Music for a Film –> changed everything -> sounded too much like leonard cohen -> changed everything -> in logic: gtr -> bass –> addictive drums -> vocals -> keys –> removed half of the drums –> midi horns etc

Ryan April 3, 2023 5:00pm

Benzo, this is gorgeous. One of my all-time favorite submissions from you. Great musical composition—how did you approach it?

I’m thrilled that it explodes at the end. Totally fitting.

Marketing team at HBO Max: “We are absolutely not calling it Muine Bheag.”

Agreed with @@daeclan that this is all about the wide variety of little voices that appear. Killer guitar playing. Great horn parts, great string parts. So fun.

Ben September 11, 2023 2:25pm

writer [who’s currently on strike]; BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE “MOON BIG”

Z March 30, 2023 2:01pm

I’d totally watch this show. The music is great, I l’m glad we get to hear the whole song – I’ve always loved listening to the full twin peaks material. It is interesting to think about how you’d pate down the song to its most essential emotional centers depending on what the time/creative constraints are with the rest of the team, but there’s so much to work with here. Have you ever listened to the entire Bresking Bad intro? It is to me a TOTALLY different experience than what the 15 second truncated version it is.

I think you really nailed the mystery and night-timy feeling, and I love that it morphs into this total beast by the end. Vocals remind me of Son Lux.

nice work!

Ben September 11, 2023 2:34pm

YES. always SO weird hearing full themes. It’s like you pinch-zoom out of little 60 sec ditty and there’s structure and repetition and you realize what things got unceremoniously chopped and cut to fit the commercial television length. But like 99% of the time, i def prefer the tv theme version because the full version is too eerily long and too specifically, intentionally structured

daeclan March 27, 2023 9:38pm

i love how many elements you bring into your mixes, somehow fitting in a whole world of sound into the space of 2 mins 30 secs. i love the show concept, too (cos humans are the real monsters most of the time) and think this is a fitting soundtrack to that world. the guitar at the end reminds of a young jonny greenwood in the best of ways.

p.s. i was also hustling to get my shit together in time for the beginning of the end of succession, and i love that theme song more than i should.

Ben September 11, 2023 2:36pm (edited)

yeah, i listen to the full succession soundtrack sometimes when i’m working. what are some of your fav theme songs?