Musicologists around the world have finally settled one of the most difficult questions they have ever faced: which Thomas the Tank Engine theme is better? Is it the original one we grew up with during our childhoods, or is it the newer one that other people are now growing up with during their childhoods? After much debate, we are glad to report that the music buffs have reached a consensus: the original theme is definitely way better, hands down.
We asked Ripping Babushkin, famous musicologist, for more details. “We are glad to have been able to reach this decision,” he explained, “though with hindsight it seems rather obvious. Listening to the new Engine Roll Call is enough to make anyone sick.”
The elite team of musicologists, known as the A1 Team, pointed to the vastly different levels of musical quality in the two tunes to help explain their decision. “One is a charming masterpiece of rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic variety, whereas the other is an awful bit of drivel,” said Bob Guy, musicologist. “I have written several papers on this already.”
“At first I wondered why the new song was called the Engine Roll Call, but then I realised that it is literally a roll call of all the engine’s names,” said Sally McNally, musicologist. “I guess their strategy was to take an inspirational lyric full of train names and get a bunch of tone-deaf children who all sound like they would have been villains in a Roald Dahl novel to sing it out of time. In that sense, I suppose they succeeded.”
Some scholars tried to defend the tune, but eventually admitted that such an attempt would bring shame upon them and their families. “At first I rather liked the way the words and the music seamlessly unite to form a dystopian wasteland of trochaic belches,” explained John Man, musicologist. “But then I realised that by saying that, I was not just betraying children, I was betraying childhood itself.”
Babushkin, musicologist, says it is time for the musical world to put this nightmare to rest. “Of course it is important to try new things,” he said, “so long as those things don’t include this song. The Engine Roll Call can go shunt itself.”