TikTok Thinks Beyoncé’s ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ Sounds Like This Classic Canadian Children’s Show Theme Song

Beyoncé is already making history with her swerve into the country lane. But after scoring a surprise No. 1 hit with “Texas Hold ‘Em,” some of Queen Bey’s Canadian fans think her new two-step has a familiar ring to it.

A week after TikTok videos pointed out that the tune’s bouncy finger-picked intro bears a striking resemblance to the theme song from the late 1990s/early 2000s children’s cartoon Franklin, the musician behind that show’s iconic opening track, “Hey, It’s Franklin,” says he’s just fine with the comparisons.

According to TMZ, veteran Canadian rocker Bruce Cockburn, 78 — best known for his 1984 hit “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” — told the outlet that he is honored by the many side-by-side videos. “I think Beyoncé’s ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ is a good record. Unfortunately, I can’t claim to have any part in writing it,” he said.

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“The rhythmic feel is similar to my theme song for the Franklin TV series, but to my ears, that’s where the similarity stops. ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ is her song, and I wish her success with it!” Cockburn added.

It appears the resemblance was first pointed out by TikTok user Ashleigh Aedan on Feb. 18, when she played a bit of the Bey song and captioned her video, “Now go listen to the Franklin theme song and tell me these are the same”; that clip ha since racked up more than 3.5 million views. The post began making news in Canada soon after, with a radio DJ doing a mash-up that boosted the notion that the songs share a similar git-up.

A music expert told CBC News that the comparisons make sense since both use fingerstyle plucking, instead of strumming, with Beyoncé’s opening with a banjo played in the Clawhammer style. Musicologist Claire McLeish said the Franklin theme opens with a style called Travis picking, with a “strong Clawhammer influence.” McLeish also pointed out that both are played in the key of D, with the instruments tuned in a similar style, which is what McLeish said people are picking up on.

And while they sound similar, McLeish said “they don’t sound alike in a way that would cause any legal problems” because you cannot copyright an “idea,” and the Travis picking style is a common idea used in country and folk music all the time. In fact, McLeish compiled a playlist of songs in a similar style, including ones by Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin and Cockburn, noting that since Beyoncé isn’t using the same melody or lyrics that are close to the Franklin theme it’s probably safe from any legal issues.

Last week, Bey became the first Black woman to top the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, followed by the track topping the Billboard Hot 100, giving the singer her ninth leader on the list.

Listen below and see if you hear the similarities.

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