Cynthia Fee’s rendition of Andrew Gold’s “Thank You for Being a Friend” for Golden Girls is a very straightforward, lighthearted ode to a long and sturdy friendship. Annie Clark aka St. Vincent recently made it into a lugubrious, droning dirge, apparently for no reason whatsoever.
I’d guess the genre shift was a somewhat abstract response to Golden Girl Betty White doing a dramatic reading of a Queen Latifah song for VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, but Clark’s remake of the song was actually posted on Twitter prior to Betty White’s performance; perhaps Clark solely wanted to belatedly mourn the passings of three of the main cast members of the Golden Girls; perhaps she was bored on a Sunday night; perhaps she was extremely entertained on a Sunday night, and still did this, anyway.
As Pitchfork notes, this isn’t the first time in recent memory an indie musician has paid homage (or, in this case, expressed mourning?) to the Golden Girls theme song: Animal Collective sampled it in “Golden Gal.”
Refresh your memory of the original theme song before listening to St. Vincent’s wordless, ambient rendition, otherwise you might not even detect that it’s derived from “Thank You for Being a Friend.” (It might be difficult to detect it, honestly, even if you do give the original a listen beforehand.)
Here’s St. Vincent’s version: