A fan of the original ‘Mr Bean’ series has discovered the hilarious hidden joke in the soundtrack
31 January 2022, 16:29 | Updated: 31 January 2022, 16:40
If you’ve always wondered what the choir are singing about in the choral opening theme to ‘Mr Bean’… wonder no more.
Before Howard Goodall composed the introductory theme Mr Bean, a piece of choral church music might have seemed a peculiar choice to score a comedy sitcom. Now, it’s one of the abiding TV melodies, even voted to No.49 last year in Classic FM’s TV Music Countdown.
And a couple of years ago, a fan of the classic show discovered a recurring joke in the opening lyrics.
From the beginning of episode two onwards, Mr Bean, played by Rowan Atkinson, falls from the sky in a beam of light.
As Bean falls, a choir sings out the line ‘Ecce homo qui est faba’, which translates into English as ‘Behold the man who is a bean’.
There are other Easter eggs which include the choir singing ‘end of part one’ and ‘part two’, as well as ‘Farewell, man who is a bean’ at the end of each episode.
Today I learned that Mr Bean's intro theme lyrics are:— Tim Dunn (@MrTimDunn) April 22, 2018
"Ecce homo qui est faba" – "Behold the man who is a bean"
and the final credits are:
"Vale homo qui est faba" – "Farewell, man who is a bean"
–– and *that* has made my day even better. pic.twitter.com/uN1AEWJzmD
I was today years old when I learned that the lyrics for the opening titles of Mr. Bean are just the words "Ecce homo qui est faba" ('Behold the man who is a bean').— Danny Bate (@DannyBate4) December 15, 2020
Occasionally, fans of the show will twig, and share the moment they realised the meaning behind Goodall’s Latin lyrics.
And sometimes, Goodall will respond. “Honest truth is I didn’t realise this was a secret,” he tweeted a few years ago, in response to a diverted fan. “I am delighted to have caused some glee though, all these years later.”
Honest truth is I didn't realise this was a secret. I am delighted to have caused some glee though, all these years later. https://t.co/l44SSoRpwM— Howard Goodall (@Howard_Goodall) March 12, 2019
A few years ago, Rowan Atkinson revealed a big secret about his famous 2012 Olympics performance on Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast, admitting that the entire performance was prerecorded.
He said: “The only thing we could do was to prerecord the whole thing so Simon Rattle was waving his arms about just as I was, miming to the music.”