The Wire theme song lyrics

I just love the theme song concept they came up with in this one.

If you are a true The Wire fan, you would know that each season had a different version of the theme tune, sung by a different group or artist. Yes, the song stays the same. The song is entitled “Way Down in the Hole”. It was written and originally recorded by American artist Tom Waits; it is part of his 1987 release Franks Wild Years.

As for each season’s version and a little something about it, see below.

Season 1 by The Blind Boys of Alabama

The rendition in season one of “Way Down in the Hole” is by the gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama. Yes, they are blind. They have been around since 1939, and yes, of course, their lineup has changed. They covered “Way Down in the Hole” and included it in their 2001-release Spirit of the Century. Their version also made it in the series finale being played over a montage. Below is the opening credits of season one.

The Wire Intro Theme [Season 1]

Season one theme music and intro to HBO’s drama series “The Wire”.
Music by The Blind Boys of Alabama – Way Down in The Hole.

The Wire – Season 2 Intro (HD)

Season 2 by Tom Waits

The second season sees Tom Waits’ original recording of “Way Down in the Hole” as the theme tune to The Wire. As previously mentioned, it is part of his album Franks Wild Years. Below is the opening sequence of season two.

The Wire – Season 3 Intro (HD)

Season 3 by The Neville Brothers

Season three’s rendition is by New Orleans, Louisiana-based soul group The Neville Brothers. As of this time I do not know if they included it in an album/official release. Some help, maybe? Below is the third season’s opening credits.

The Wire – Season 4 Intro (HD)

Season 4 by DoMaJe

DoMaJe is said to be a collaboration between cast members. This version was recorded and arranged specifically for the show. The vocalists in the recording are Baltimore teenagers Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir, and Avery Bargasse. Below is season 4’s intro.

The Wire – Season 5 Intro (HD)

Season 5 by Steve Earle

The fifth and final season’s theme rendition is by American country music artist Steve Earle. His version is part of his 2007 release Washington Square Serenade. Steve is also a member of the cast—he plays the recovering drug addict Walon. Below is the intro for season five.

The Wire theme song lyrics

The Wire (season 1)

When you walk through the garden
You gotta watch your back
Well I beg your pardon
Walk the straight and narrow track
If you walk with Jesus
He’s gonna save your soul
You gotta keep the devil
Way down in the hole
He’s got the fire and the fury
At his command
Well you don’t have to worry
If you hold on to Jesus hand
We’ll all be safe from Satan
When the thunder rolls
Just gotta help me keep the devil
Way down in the hole
All the angels sing about Jesus’ mighty sword
And they’ll shield you with their wings
And keep you close to the lord
Don’t pay heed to temptation
For his hands are so cold
You gotta help me keep the devil
Way down in the hole

The Wire Trailer (HBO)

From creator David Simon, all 5 seasons of The Wire are available to watch on HBO NOW:

So if you want to watch The Wire online, go to HBO NOW

THE WIRE – 100 Greatest Quotes (Spoilers)

From Harry Hanrahan… A selection of the top 100 quotes from The Wire, the greatest TV show ever made. Contains spoilers from all 5 seasons!

Why The Wire is one of the Most Brilliant TV Shows Ever

The Wire is one of the most brilliant and significant TV shows ever created. In this video, it is talked about the creators of the show and the techniques used that make is so great.

So, which one is your favourite?

P.S. I guess it is also relevant to note the ending theme—entitled “The Fall”, composed by Blake Leyh, the show’s music supervisor.


  1. Great feedback and audio clips! I loved the wire and hope they bring it back!

  2. Although Season 3 was my favorite season, Season 4’s theme song version is my favorite. Just a different take, where the other 4 are kind of straight forward.

  3. My favorite one is season 4, i listen to it like every day! hahaha

  4. I really enjoyed season 1 the best !!

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