Downton Abbey, that wonderful little program that showed us poor Americans the inner workings of British high society, may have ended last Sunday. But like any good show that gives Maggie Smith ample screen time, it will live on forever in our hearts and in our Amazon Prime queue. For those going back to watch the show, they will fall in love with the instrumental theme that opens every episode. Jimmy Kimmel wanted to give that theme a little upgrade so he enlisted John Legend to sing it with lyrics that give viewers a little preview of what the show’s about.
“Everyone we know is very white. We don’t have one black friend,” John begins the theme, so yeah we’re getting some #realtalk with this song. After requisite lyrics about formal dinners, hats and combing people’s hair, the song lets us know about the lovely people inhabiting the world of Downton. “Grandmamma is always such a witch. She needs to get laid,” John sings about the Dowager Countess adding “She’s always ready with a diss.” Next we have Mr. Bates who is a murderer but a “real nice guy” and gay footman Thomas who is “always carrying a tray.” Yeah, that about sums him up. Finally we have Edith. With that soaring voice of his John sings, “Edith is such a loser, why won’t she just die? Why? Why? Whyyyy?” Well because we already had one Crawley daughter bite the dust (RIP Sybil) and we needed a happy ending, dammit.
Besides the Edith crack the song does do a great job of getting to the opulent heart of Downton Abbey (The line “Let’s all ride horses and talk smack” is devastatingly accurate) so if/when you watch it again, do yourself a favor and play this theme.