Downton Abbey loved to remind its characters and its audience alike that times are changing and adapt we must. Indeed, the show’s majestic theme music was one of the show’s very few constants. Emphasis on was: Recording artist John Legend debuted his tongue-in-cheek “lyrical version” on Monday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Legend threw himself fully into character, with melodramatic vocals and a sophisticated suit that would surely have met the Crawleys’ classy standards. His lyrics, however, were the star of the show, reducing Downton’s tropes to their clearest expression and throwing in some modern commentary for good measure: “Everyone we know is very white / We don’t have one black friend,” “Grandmamma is always such a witch / She needs to get laid / She’s always ready with a diss,” ”Mr. Bates is a murderer but he’s a real nice guy,” etc. Yup—true on all counts.