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Those Were The Days (Theme to All In The Family)


Archie and Edith Bunker

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Broadway songwriters Charles Adams and Lee Strouse for the TV show All In The Family. The show opened with Archie Bunker and his wife Edith singing this around a piano. The show ran from 1971-1980. For the last season, an instrumental version was used to open the show.
There is an orchestral funky disco arrangement (orchestra leader Al Capps) sung by Sammy Davis Jr. on an album with a compilation of hits by different artists from 1977. Sammy was a guest on a famous episode of All In The Family where he kisses Archie on the cheek while a reporter takes a photo. (thanks, Cees - Amsterdam, Netherlands, for above 2)
There was a longer set of lyrics written for this. You can see them in the lyrics section.
Carroll O' Connor and Jean Stapleton, who played Archie and Edith, rerecorded this for the second season to make some of the lyrics more clear. The line most people couldn't understand was, "Gee our old LaSalle ran great." A LaSalle was a type of car made by Cadillac from 1927-1940.
When Charles Adams performs this at concerts, he even imitates Edith's screech. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
This was used throughout an episode of The Simpsons titled "Lisa's Sax," performed by Marge and Homer Simpson, with updated lyrics and the opening scenes parodying that of the opening sequence of All In The Family. (thanks, Patrick - Tallapoosa, GA)
More Archie and Edith Bunker songs
More songs inspired by newspaper or magazine articles
More songs that were banned
More songs used on The Simpsons
More songs that were TV show theme songs
More songs about looking back on fond memories

Comments (15):

Does anyone know if Jean Stapleton actually played the piano on the TV show All in the Family? I have wondered this for years!
- Robert, Crown Point, IN
I always admired Jean Stapleton for being able to keep a straight face when she sang this--as Edith Bunker she seemed perfectly unaware that she was a terrible singer, and was just singing for the joy of being at the piano with her beloved Archie.
- Carolyn, Knoville, TN
No Betty. The LaSalle was a lower cost Cadillac model, not a Buick.
- Gennie, Beverly Hills, CA
No Garrett. Carroll O'Connor did NOT write the ending theme, Roger Kellaway did, as well as performing it. Also Mr. O'Connor was not an "accomplished pianist" or composer. He did co-write some lyrics for the ending theme "Remembering You", which is odd since the song was never presented with singing, only as an instrumental.
- Gennie, Beverly Hills, CA
Ok, I'm old, I admit it and the memory fails sometimes... but, in the song facts it mentions that a LaSalle is a Cadillac? I beg to differ, I believe it's a Buick. Besides, Archie and Edith would not be driving a Cadillac, would they?
- Betty, Seattle, WA
Thank you! It seems like so many others I have never been able to understand the line Gee our old La Salle ran great. I finally went online and now I know it.What a great show it still is. I never missed tuning in to see them. They surely stand the test of time unlike I believe many modern sitcoms will not.
- Valerie, Essex, ON
What's funny about the song is how it fits the context of the show. Archie is the sort of person for whom the song has no irony and may be taken at face value ("Didn't need no welfare state," or "Mister we could use a man like Herber Hoover again"). Edith is just singing along. The lyrics are reactionary and especially funny coming from the mouths of Archie and Edith, but coming from real people for whom they would be geniune sentiments, they would have been far from funny in the early 1970's. It just goes to show you how context works. I have ridden in an old LaSalle. Big old 1940's sled.

- Patrick, East Elmhurst, NY
O'Connor wrote lyrics to the closing song (Remebering You) several years after it was written. He got a composer credit because of that but in the earlier shows, he got no credit.
- Dave, Scottsdale, AZ
Mark, Edith was played by Jean Stapleton.
- Don, Newmarket, Canada
I suspect that Maureen Stapleton could sing fairly well. Her real voice didn't resemble Edith's very much; I imagine that she could several character voices, and most actors take voice lessons. Archie and Edith also recorded a version of "I Remember It Well," from Gigi. It was excellent.
- Mark, Lancaster, OH
This song was played at the opening of each show. At the end of the show, over the closing credits, was a piano instrumental written by Carrol O'Connor (Archie) who was an accomplished pianist.
- Garrett, Nashville, TN
This is the funniest song. Edith can't go high or anything. The show is sooooooooooooooo funny, too.

: )
- Dawson, Draper, UT
I had no idea that Strouse and Adams (creators of such hits as "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Annie") were responsible for this great song. I do have one small correction to make, however; it's *Charles* Strouse and *Lee* Adams, not the other way around!
- Kirk, Columbia, MD
I completely agree with you Catlin. I think the way edith Bunker (I don't remember her real name) sing's it is hilarious. "All In the Family" is just a show that's beyound funny, anyway, too. Edith is the funniest, but Archie is pretty funny too.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
such a good song and the lady sings it too funny
- Caitlin, sailsbury, NC
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