Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

At long last, the Breaking Bad theme has lyrics

Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins
Photo: Andrew Lipovsky (NBC)

Is the Breaking Bad theme around 18 seconds long? Yes, yes it is. Does it have lyrics? No, indeed it does not. Rather, it did not, until last night, when country star Trace Adkins and a chorus of Heisenbergs gave it some on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.

(The video below should be cued up to Fallon’s intro to this specific bit, but if for some reason it isn’t, skip to around the 1:50 mark.)

First of all, inspired voice casting. Gives the whole thing a very “A Boy Named Sue”/“Sixteen Tons” vibe. Cheers to that casting department.


It sounds as though they’re using composer Dave Porter’s extended title music, which is far, far longer than the familiar 18 seconds. It’s a bit of a bummer, because that’s the best part. Just as the Game Of Thrones theme is best when the words “Peter Dinklage” are its only lyrics, this one is best when Adkins and company just sing “Breaking Bad” and nothing else. If you’re unable to play the video at work, here are the full lyrics:

Was a high school teacher ’til he got real sick

(Now he’s breaking bad, now he’s breaking bad)

Aaron Paul was his friend who called everybody “bitch”

(Now he’s breaking bad, also breaking bad)

Started cooking up drugs but they came out blue

(Now he’s breaking bad, making drugs is bad)

Bought a porkpie hat, threw a pizza on the roof

(’Cause he’s breaking bad, really breaking bad)

Was a big shoot-out and he wound up dead

(You just spoiled it dude, spoiling stuff is bad)

If you haven’t seen the show, never mind what I said

(Check out Breaking Bad, Netflix Breaking Bad)

Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad

Should be shorter, but some of these are funny. If and when Porter’s theme plays during El Camino, now you have the option of singing along. It arrives on Netflix this Friday (as does a review from our own Erik Adams).

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!

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