It's A Jungle Out There

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  • Although police and detective TV series are as popular in the United States as in Britain, while generally British characters and plots tend towards the realistic, their American equivalents have always tended towards surrealism or just plain silliness with improbable characters and ludicrous or even awful dialogue. The detective series Monk is a definite contender for, if not the outright winner in, the surrealist stakes. Its hero, private consultant Adrian Monk, although an outstanding sleuth, is beset with all manner of phobias from milk to harmonicas, from tap water to cracks in the sidewalk.

    Monk was first screened on the USA Network in July 2002, and ran for eight seasons. Obviously it needed theme music or a theme song, preferably something original. With the wisdom of hindsight, only one man could have done such a character justice; although Newman is a performer in his own right, he has spent much of his career scoring films, and with this short, snappy ode to Monk's phobias, captures the essence of this latter day ultra-neurotic Sherlock Holmes.
  • "It's A Jungle Out There" rewarded Newman with yet another award, this time the 2004 Emmy for Best Main Title Music.
  • A hip-hop style version of the song was performed by Snoop Dog who guested in the 2007 episode Mr. Monk And The Rapper. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3
  • A re-recorded version of the song appears on Randy Newman's 2017 album Dark Matter. The new rendition adds a few new verses, concerning violence, surveillance and paranoia. The final verse touches on police brutality.

    It's a jungle out there
    Even the cops are scared today
    So if you see a uniform
    Do exactly what they say
    Or make a run for it
    I'm only kidding with you!
    'Cause it's a jungle out there.

    Newman told Pitchfork:

    "I never liked saying 'I'm only kidding with ya' in my songs, and when I play this song live now, I have been trying to leave that line out. But I think [the narrator] has to say it, actually. It's a matter of getting the person in the song right. I'm a little confused myself about who the narrator of that one is. Personally, I don't think it's a jungle out there. I wouldn't say that. Because that phrase has been used wrong. There's something vaguely offensive about it, depending on whose saying it."

Comments: 4

  • Sam from Uk Anyone else feel these lyrics were written about 2020
  • Laura Doran from 21035I would love this to be my ring tone.
  • Monk Fan from Wherever“Even paranoids have ENEMIES”
  • Stephen from New York, NyBeautiful the way the intro to the show reflects Randy's lyrics and rhythm.
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