12 strange and silly versions of the original Star Trek theme

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

We've heard hundreds of interpretations over the years of the amazing theme music composer Alexander Courage wrote for Star Trek: The Original Series, and some of them have been more ... how should we put it ... interesting than others. And by interesting, we mean strange.

After we caught Natalia Paruz's version recently, which was played on a saw (yes, a saw), we decided to track down other odd performances so we could give you a look at—and a listen to—the Star Trek theme as rendered by some pretty unusual instruments.

A saw

Natalia Paruz, aka "The Saw Lady," (who must eat through a zillion bowstrings each month), obviously enjoys her work. It's not just her rather haunting rendition of the Star Trek theme song that makes it so: it's her lovely smile.

A theremin

When you think "science fiction" and "instrument," you think "theremin." That's because the instrument featured in the soundtrack of another sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still (but not Forbidden Planet, as some believe).

The above nifty version is made even more nifty by the video. Check it out.

A ukulele

And when you think "science fiction" and "instrument," you don't think "ukulele." However, this cute little plucked lute is the current bees knees of indie musicians all over.

WS64 also tosses in the theme of Star Trek: The Next Generation for us.

A Wii

With its unfocused notes, this version is perhaps the least successfully rendered—but it's one of the coolest. Kenmoore altered his Wiimote and turned it into his very own version of a theremin.

The Wii: you can use it to play games, lose weight and play some funky music 'til you die.

Buckingham Palace guards

Traditional instruments, yes. Extremely traditional musicians, hell yeah.

Rumor has it that the palace guards aren't allowed to smile when on duty. But when playing this song, it seems almost impossible not to.

An Android phone

This version of Star Trek, created with the Tilt Theremin app, can be the single best reason to make us part with our beloved iPhones and exchange them for Androids. (That and, you know, the whole open source thing.)

This guy's voice and lips

Of all the renditions of the Star Trek theme on YouTube, this one is the silliest.

A stylophone

This late '60s/early '70s electronic instrument has a sound that's, oh, how to put it politely ... very much of its time. Musician 3erglinG is probably playing the version that was revived in 2007.

Fun fact: The stylophone was featured in a Paul McGann Doctor Who audio drama, Horror of Glam Rock.

An accordion

Although it's not really that unusual an instrument, it's more familiar playing a polka than a sci-fi theme song. Bonus feature: The musician gives us a mini-lesson in the intro.

A kazoo

Stickmanband3's cover is backed by some top-notch guitar playing ... and a kazoo. Whether you prefer the kazoo will determine whether you prefer this version. Our take: This one-man band might want to stick with his guitar.

The Castro Theater organ

This isn't just any organ. It's an organ from back in the day when movies needed their own musical accompaniment. The Castro Theater in San Francisco famously restored one, and the resulting version gives us an idea of what Star Trek's theme would have sounded like if Star Trek: The Motion Picture had used Alexander Courage's song.

Disco version

Do a little dance (with Kirk). Make a little love (with Kirk). Get down tonight (with Kirk).

You knew we had to end with that one, right?