Movin' On Up (Theme to The Jeffersons)

Album: TV Guide: 50 All-Time Favorite TV Themes (1975)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The Jeffersons was a spinoff of All in the Family in which the Bunkers' black next-door neighbors moved to a "deluxe apartment in the sky." This gospel-tinged song described their progression "on up." The show ran 1975-1985 and starred Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford. Roxie Roker, who played their neighbor Helen Willis, is the mother of Lenny Kravitz.
  • The gospel choir consisted of 35 black churchgoers. Despite the choir, the song is often covered by garage bands.
  • Ja'net Dubois wrote this song with the legendary songwriter Jeff Barry, who also sang backup vocals. Barry and his wife, Ellie Greenwich, composed several popular songs, such as "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Hearts?" "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Then He Kissed Me," "Baby I Love You," "Be My Baby," "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget," "I Can Hear Music," and "River Deep - Mountain High."

    Dubois said of this song: "I know about black folks movin' up. I've been there."
  • DuBois played the role of Willona Woods on another black sitcom, Good Times. Good Times was a spinoff of Maude, which like The Jeffersons, was a spinoff of All in the Family.
  • The Jeffersons featured TV's first mixed-married couple, a white husband and a black wife. It had its own short-lived spinoff, Checking In.
  • This is commonly played at sporting events when a team which has previously been doing poorly makes a startling comeback and hence moves back "up" to its previous status.
  • Running 1:07, this theme song took up the entire first segment of every episode of The Jeffersons. This wasn't unusual at the time, which was the golden age of TV theme songs. In later years, opening themes were cut down or eliminated to allow more time for plot development. DVRs also hastened the demise of the theme song - binge watchers skip through them.
  • Nelly sampled this for his song "Batter Up" (the title was inspired by the line in this song, "Now it's our turn at bat"). "Batter Up" was a spoof of the media's enthusiasm for sports and also featured St. Lunatics and Murphey Lee.
  • In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, rapper Ludacris said, "That's every black person's favorite TV theme, because we movin' on up!"
  • This featured in commercial for Apartments.com that aired during the 2016 Super Bowl. In the spot, Jeff Goldblum (in character as Brad Bellflower) is hoisted up a building as he plays this song on a piano. On one floor, he spots a guy dressed like George Washington standing next to the rapper Lil Wayne (known as Weezy), and asks, "Is that George and Weezy," to which Wayne replies, "Who else would it be?" Turns out they're grilling beans, since as we known from this song, beans don't burn on the grill.
  • Jennifer Hudson sang this to open a live remake of The Jeffersons that aired on ABC on May 22, 2019. Preceding it was a remake of All in the Family, with Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei singing that show's iconic theme song.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 6

  • Brent from Denair, CaWe finally got a piece of the pieiiiiii! What an awesome song!
  • Carolyn from Knoville, TnThis is one TV theme song that just made you feel good to hear it.
  • Krista from Carbondale, PaI LOVE this song! It's such a catchy, COOL tune! :) The Jeff's ROCK!
  • Garrett from Nashville, TnThe wife in the mixed-married couple across the hall was played by Lenny Kravitz's mom.
    This song was written and produced by Jeff Barry, who wrote "Sugar Sugar" and "I Honestly Love You", and produced "I'm A Believer" for the Monkees.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnOne of three gospel-like theme songs from Norman Lear sitcoms. The other two were Good Times and One Day at a Time.
  • Scott from Chicago, Ilone of the few tv themes you never get tired of hearing...
see more comments

Michael SchenkerSongwriter Interviews

The Scorpions and UFO guitarist is also a very prolific songwriter - he explains how he writes with his various groups, and why he was so keen to get out of Germany and into England.

Eric ClaptonFact or Fiction

Did Eric Clapton really write "Cocaine" while on cocaine? This question and more in the Clapton edition of Fact or Fiction.

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.

Mike CampbellSongwriter Interviews

Mike is lead guitarist with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and co-writer of classic songs like "Boys Of Summer," "Refugee" and "The Heart Of The Matter."

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.