Hogan’s Heroes’ Instrumental Theme Song Actually Had Secret Lyrics

by Josh Lanier

The theme song to Hogan’s Heroes is an ear worm. Even if you just think of the drums and pipe flute it’ll get stuck in your head all day. So, sorry for that.

But what you likely never realized is that the song has lyrics. It’s one of several famous instrumental theme songs that had lyrics shelved at the last minute, according to MeTV. Very interesting.

Unsatisfied with only having his lyrics on the track, star Bob Crane lent his rhythm to the production as well. That’s him playing the drums in the opening of the show. Crane was a lifelong drummer and had an idea he thought would work well for the arrangement.

The show follows several US prisoners of war in the German POW camp, and all the ways the allies taunt, tease, and humiliate their captors. But the theme is much more of a traditional Army ballad about valor, courage, and sacrifice.

Heroes, heroes, husky men of war,
Sons of all the heroes of the war before.
We’re all heroes up to our ear-o’s
You ask the questions
We make suggestions
That’s what we’re heroes for.

All good heroes love a good, big fight
Open up the bomb bays and brighten up the night.
We earn laurels solving your quarrels
You pull the roses,
We punch the noses,
That’s what we’re heroes for.

What’s a hero do?
Well, we’re not gonna tell ya
Cause we wish we knew.
That’s why we heroes are so few.
We’ve got a slogan
From Colonel Hogan
And Colonel Hogan’s a hero too.

Never flinch, boys, never be afraid,
Heroes are not born, boys, heroes all are made.
Ask not why, boys, never say die, boys,
Answer the call, remember we’ll all be heroes forever more.

Bob Cranes’ Jacket Should Have Looked Familiar

The leather bomber jacket that Bob Crane — Col. Hogan — wore throughout the show is an iconic piece of American television memorabilia. It was his literal uniform in the camp, and he looked incredibly cool wearing it.

But he wasn’t the first to don that jacket. In fact, Frank Sinatra sported that coat for much of the 1964 film Von Ryan’s Express. Somehow, it made it’s way to Crane and the rest waas history. However, that isn’t the end of the coat’s on-screen history.

In 2002, Greg Kinnear starred as Bob Crane in the film Auto Focus. The film centered around Crane’s sex life, his predilection to film women with and without their consent, and his subsequent murder in 1978. It’s still unsolved to this day.

Cranes allowed Kinnear to wear the jacket in the film.