Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Small, and the Pumping Iron Theme Song

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A Glimpse into the Artistry of “Pumping Iron” and Michael Small

The year was 1975, a pivotal moment in the history of bodybuilding, when the illustrious Mr. Olympia contest took center stage, and the world watched in awe as Arnold Schwarzenegger, a living legend, graced the platform. This iconic portrayal of Schwarzenegger during the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest became an unforgettable image, forever etched in the annals of bodybuilding history. It was this very moment that served as the centerpiece of the renowned documentary “Pumping Iron,” a film that would go on to redefine the perception of bodybuilding and catapult Arnold Schwarzenegger to international stardom.

Yet, the impact of “Pumping Iron” extended far beyond the visual splendor of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s incredible physique. The film’s power lay in its ability to transcend the visual and delve into the emotional and psychological aspects of bodybuilding. It is this multi-dimensional approach that made “Pumping Iron” an enduring classic, and its legacy lives on to this day.

Integral to the film’s cinematic allure was the musical score composed by the esteemed Michael Small. Michael Small, a composer of the highest regard, was acclaimed for his musical masterpieces across a multitude of cinematic works. His talent graced films like “Klute,” “Marathon Man,” “The Stepford Wives,” and “The China Syndrome.” However, it is “Pumping Iron” that stands as an iconic testament to his musical genius.

The theme song of “Pumping Iron,” “Everybody wants to live Forever”, crafted by Michael Small, is a lyrical gem that complements the film’s visuals and narrative beautifully. The music sets the tone, punctuating the moments of triumph, struggle, and perseverance that the documentary so vividly portrays. It becomes a character in its own right, conveying the spirit and essence of bodybuilding.

And what about those memorable lyrics? Michael Small, in his own unique way, answers an age-old question: “Who would want to hitch up with never?” His response is emphatic and straightforward, declaring that “Nobody wanna hitch up with never.” Though his grammar may raise an eyebrow or two, the message is clear: “Never” is not a desirable companion. Through his lyrics, Small encapsulates the essence of striving for success, pushing forward, and making something out of oneself. The resounding declaration becomes an anthem for those who dare to pursue their dreams.

For those who wish to delve deeper into the auditory journey of “Pumping Iron,” there is a video below that features the film’s opening theme song. This cinematic masterpiece, both visually and musically, continues to resonate with audiences and remains a testament to the enduring legacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the artistry of individuals like Michael Small.

In the world of bodybuilding and cinema, “Pumping Iron” stands as a symbol of dedication, ambition, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. It is a celebration of the human spirit, encapsulated in the powerful combination of visual storytelling and evocative music, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those who experience it.


Pumping Iron song
Written by Michael Small and performed by Joey Ward

Everybody wants to live forever
Everybody wants to stick around
Everybody wants to be respected
And everybody wants to be protected
Everybody wants to be a hero
Every man wants to be bigger than dad
It’s very hard to understand
Been that way since belltown man
La de da de da
Pumping up, pumping iron
Pumping up, it really feels like flying
Coming up, just like a lion
Pumping up, pumping iron
Work it out now, pump it up now
Everybody wants to be remembered
Everybody wants to have a friend
Gonna be ready and able, if a friends gunna turn the table
Pumping iron, nobodys gonna be bigger than I am
Work it up now, pump it up now
Work it it out now
Everybody wants to be in heaven
Everybody wants eternity
Eternity
Don’t believe the things you heard
Don’t believe in no fancy words
Only wings is on the birds
Everybody wanna live forever
Pumping up, now
Nobody wanna hitch up with never
Pumping up, now
Everybody wanna live forever
Nobody wanna hitch up with never
Come on everybody
Everybodys gunna live much longer
Come on everybody
Everybodys gunna be much stronger
Everybody wanna live forever
Nobody wanna hitch up with never
Everybody wanna live forever
Nobody wanna hitch up with never
Everybody gunna be rich and wealthy
Everybody gunna be big and healthy
Everybody wanna live forever
Pumping up, now
Nobody wanna hitch up with never
Pumping up, now
Everybody wanna live forever
Pumping up, now
Nobody wanna hitch up with never
Everybody wanna live forever
Pumping up, now
Nobody wanna hitch up with never
Pumping up, now
Everybody wanna live forever
Pump, pump, pumping now
Nobody wanna hitch up with never

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Armold Schwazenegger 1975
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