The theme song for the TV show MASH is called “Suicide Is Painless”. The song was written by Johnny Mandel and the lyrics were written by Mike Altman, who is the son of the film’s director, Robert Altman. The lyrics were not used in the TV show’s opening credits, but were included in the original movie version. The instrumental version of the song is what is typically associated with the MASH TV show.
The instrumental version of “Suicide Is Painless” was arranged by the composer, Johnny Mandel, and became an iconic part of the MAS*H series. The song features a simple melody played on the keyboard, accompanied by guitar, bass, drums, and a haunting whistle solo.
The opening credits of MAS*H feature a montage of scenes from the show, set against the backdrop of the instrumental version of “Suicide Is Painless”. The song has become synonymous with the series and is often played as a tribute to the show’s lasting impact.
“Suicide Is Painless” was released as a single in 1970, and although the song did not chart, it became a cult classic and has been covered by numerous artists over the years. The song has been featured in several films and TV shows, cementing its place in popular culture.