This is satire.
On the 84th time I played the Thomas the Train Theme song for my sons I actually listened to the lyrics. My gut wrenched and beads of sweat formed on my thin, receding hairline.
We all think of Thomas as a fun-loving character who serves his community in high stature. Nothing could be further from the truth. The proof has been right under our nose for years. We need not look further than the main verse of the theme song which I’ve broken down, line by line, below.
🎵 Thomas- he’s the cheeky one 🎵
Love the opener. Introducing the protagonist right off the bat. Letting the viewer know that this show is goofy. Our main character whose namesake is in the show’s own title is cheeky. He’s not serious, he’s here for fun and games. Absolutely nothing suspicious here.
🎵 James is vain but lots of fun 🎵
Hold up. James is vain, but lots of fun? This is a record scratch, freeze frame moment.
We’re just going to call out our best friend here as vain, in the theme song. The first thing we tell our beloved audience is that James struggles with excessive pride and thinks nothing of others.
They throw in the “oh but he’s lots of fun” as if this is some sort of consolation? No, sir. You cannot broadcast a private personality flaw and try to cover your tracks with a backhanded compliment. I will not accept your backhanded compliment.
I will not glaze over this petulant bullying and, I’ll say it, libel. Someone needs to speak up for James. We all know if James tried to speak up for himself he’d be labeled as more vain by his peers and loved ones. I see you, James, and I’m not in the business of airing one’s dirty laundry for the world to see.
🎵 Percy pulls the mail on time 🎵
Nothing sticks out here. If not for the the ruthless and unwarranted character assassination not three seconds ago we’d be cruising. However, for the crews’ sake, we must now dissect each line with a fine toothed comb, a sharp wit.
The first thing that sticks out, now that our internal alarms are ringing, is that Percy is identified solely by his work. The other crew members were described by who they are as a person, not by the job they do. Futhermore, they are not actually commending Percy for much. He pulls the mail on time, as expected. He is not going above and beyond, he’s just average. And the world now knows this.
Note the word “pulls” here. Percy isn’t delivering the mail to serve his community. No, no, no. He’s just pulling the mail. It’s such a dull and disrespectful way to describe Percy’s craftsmanship.
🎵 Gordon thunders down the line 🎵
I struggle to see how “thundering down the line” is noteworthy in any way whatsoever. Gordon is getting completely snubbed here. Presumably, all trains thunder down the line at some point, but this is the calling card for poor Gordon? He deserves more than a participation trophy.
Let’s move to stanza two.
🎵 Emily really knows her stuff 🎵
We are now being introduced to character number five and we finally get to our first, and only, female in this good old boys club. What do we get? A backhanded compliment. What an absolute shocker that the only female cast member actually knows a thing or two?
🎵 Henry toots and huffs and puffs 🎵
Fat shaming. Henry undoubtedly brings tremendous value to the cast and he’s known for…being out of breath a lot? All trains toot by the way, it’s a safety imperative that is closely regulated, and yet only Henry gets this badge of honor. Quite the participation trophy for old Henry, and he deserves better.
🎵 Edward wants to help and share 🎵
Wants to help and share. They are not saying that Edward does help and share, only that he wants to. Again, can we safely assume that everyone wants to help and share? Why does Edward get this designation? This is such an empty statement its unfathomable. WE ARE GETTING TO KNOW THESE TRAINS. THIS IS THE THEME SONG. We should be demanding more.
🎵 Toby, well let’s say he’s square 🎵
Wait, what?! Let’s say he’s…square? That’s it? I can tell they want to say more but they are resisting. Why? What are they hiding? And by the way, normally when you say “well, let’s say he’s ____” you top it off with some sort of compliment. Mike? Well… let’s say he’s determined. Not here. We’re just stating a fact- he’s square. What is happening? What is going on?
The Thomas the Train theme song does not build up its cast. Each character is marginalized and gets some serious shade thrown in their direction. This all leads me to believe that the Thomas the Train theme song is actually a roast.