Sunday, March 18, 2012


We all know about "The William Tell Overture", but the Lone Ranger also has an actual theme song, complete with lyrics. It's called "Hi-Yo Silver", and was written by Lenny Adelson and Les Baxter.

The song tells the origin story of the Lone Ranger.  It was first used as the opening sequence in the pretty dang decent 1957 movie THE LONE RANGER AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD and was later used to introduce a syndicated package of LONE RANGER TV color Re-runs sent to stations in the mid to late 1970s.  That's where a young Albie saw the following clip every Sunday night and learned the lyrics by heart back around 1975-78. Each package of shows would begin with the following exact clip from the 1957 movie:

And of course, here are the sainted lyrics to this incredible theme:

Six Texas Rangers (Hi-yo, hi-yo) rode in the sun (Hi-yo, hi-yo);
Six men of justice rode into an ambush, and all were killed but one.
One lone survivor (Hi-yo, hi-yo) lay on the trail (Hi-yo, hi-yo);
Found there by Tonto, the brave Indian Tonto, he lived to tell the tale.

(Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away!)

His wounds quickly mended (Hi-yo, hi-yo) and there in the night (Hi-yo, hi-yo),
Six graves were put there to hide from the outlaws that one man lived to fight.
He chose silver bullets (Hi-yo, hi-yo) the sign of his name (Hi-yo, hi-yo); A mask to disguise him, a great silver stallion, and thus began his fame.

(Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! Hi-yo Silver, Hi-yo Silver away! THE LONE RANGER IS HIS NAME!) 



Anonymous said...

I remember the "Hi Yo Silver" song from the movie, but I didn't know it had also been used in the TV show. The episodes I saw all used the more familiar William Tell Overture, as did the radio show. Of course, you've probably heard the old joke about the definition of an intellectual: a person who can hear the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger.

Albie The Good said...

Anonymous: It was a "package" of color re-runs [basically the same late 50s shows featured on the Rhino Box Set] but with the song and clip form the '57 movie used as an intro...

At one time there was a full internet article detailing how this happened but I was unable to find it when I made this post :)

Trust me, though... I keep meeting folks who remember this and we are NOT crazy... lol

Thanks for commenting. :)

Anonymous said...

Also was used in the radio show, which is where I recall the song from.

Albie The Good said...

ANON: Now that I never knew... thanks for the cool info.

Anonymous said...

And of course there was the P.G. Wodehouse book "William Tell Told Again."

Thanks for "Hi Yo Silver." As often as I listened to the radio version as a kid, I don't recall having heard anything but the WTO. Kudos to Lenny Adelson, Les Baxter, Rossinni and of course to you!

Albie The Good said...

ANON: thanks for stopping by :)

hobbyfan said...

I remember seeing a block of color episodes in syndication that used this song as an additional intro after the regular open played. Now that I think of it, I think they may have broken the movie down into 3-4 parts for syndicated broadcast at that point in time.