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The Man Behind The 'Morning Edition' Theme Music. Also, Lyrics!

BJ Leiderman is the composer of the theme music heard on NPR's <em>Morning Edition</em>, <em>Weekend Edition</em> and <em>Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!</em>
Courtesy of Cole Rian: Jen Haynes & Mel Wils
BJ Leiderman is the composer of the theme music heard on NPR's Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Morning Edition is celebrating its 35th anniversary this week.

Over the years, many stories, voices and sounds have come and gone on the show. But there has remained one constant — our theme music.

The Morning Edition theme was written by BJ Leiderman in 1979. At the time, he was a struggling college student who wrote jingles on the side. He gave a demo tape of his music to a friend who worked at NPR.

On that tape was one little musical phrase that eventually became the Morning Edition theme music.

After it was selected, Leiderman wrote lyrics to accompany his little ditty:

Oh I hate to get up in the morning

Please don't wake me up this morning

Let me stay in bed ... and ... sleep (I don't like to daydream)

The world can turn without me today

And if you wake me up I can say

That we will not be friends ... for ... long

Remember when ... we used to sleep forever?

Dreams ... floating as light as feathers

When ... will those delightful dreams

Come back again?

Tell me when!!!

For crying out loud, please would you shut up

No news, no features, I've had enough ...

But, say, who wrote your great ... theme ... song???

Since that time, Leiderman has composed many other public radio classics. He has written themes for Weekend Edition, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, Car Talk and Marketplace.

Next year, he'll release his first album. It's called Natural Public Leiderman.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: November 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM EST
A previous Web version of this story said BJ Leiderman's album is called National Public Leiderman. It is Natural Public Leiderman.