The Buccaneers landed on Apple TV+ in November 2023, rapidly climbing the chart of the most streamed shows on the platform. Directed by Susanna White, the series is based on an unfinished novel by Edith Wharton and follows the adventure of five American girls living in London at the end of the 1800s. Besides the stellar cast and the fascinating plot, viewers have been caught by the soundtrack: the theme song we hear in the opening credits is a modern cover of a hit from some years ago. As usual, movies and TV series are the best way to discover new music, and this is what we are going to do today.
The Buccaneers is known as the “unfinished novel” by the American writer Edith Wharton. The book is set in the late 19th century and follows the lives of five wealthy American girls who, lacking social standing and fortune in New York, travel to England in search of titled husbands. The novel explores themes of social class, wealth, and the challenges faced by American women in British high society. Edith Wharton began writing The Buccaneers in 1936, but left it unfinished at the time of her death in 1937. The unfinished version of the book was published in 1938. However, in 1993, Marion Mainwaring completed the book following Wharton’s original outline: the series on Apple TV+ is the latest interpretation of the original story on screen.
The theme song you hear in the opening credits of Apple’s TV series The Buccaneers is North American Scum by Emily Kokal and Miya Folick. You can listen to the track in full streaming below.
Emily Kokal is one of the founding members of the rock band Warpaint, and Miya Folick is a famous singer who’s been active since 2015. North American Scum is a cover of the recognizable song released by the synth-rock band LCD Soundsystem in 2007 as the lead single of their second album Sound of Silver. The original version of the song has a totally different energy: you can hear it here on Youtube.
LCD Soundsystem is a well-known rock band formed in Brooklyn, New York. The band was created by musician and producer James Murphy and is famous for its eclectic sound, drawing influences from various genres such as punk, dance, electronic, and post-punk. They often published songs about their American origins (another famous song from the same album is New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down), and North American Scum is no exception: the song lyrics serve as their introduction, matching the TV show’s spirit and their protagonists coming from the United States. You can find below the lyrics you hear in The Buccaneers‘s opening credits:
Oh, I don’t know, I don’t know, oh, where to begin, we are North Americans
And for those of you who still think we’re from England, we’re not, no
You see, I love this place that I have grown to know, alright, North America
And yeah, I know you wouldn’t touch us with a ten-foot pole, ’cause we’re North Americans
(Ah-ah) Oh, oh, oh, oh
We are North American scum
(Ah-ah) Oh, oh, oh
We’re from North America
Therefore, The Buccaneers adopted a fascinating theme song about American origins, using a cover by two modern female artists to match the show’s protagonists and their characters: North American Scum is a little pearl coming from almost 20 years ago, but it still works perfectly today.
The soundtrack for The Buccaneers was produced by Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint as an all-female score and contains many more exciting tracks besides its theme song: you can stream it here on Apple Music.