Mad Men "Out of Town"

Someone recently asked me to write and arrangement of my “Sally’s Story” which was used at the end of Mad Men’s Season 3 Premier, “Out of Town”. So when I went back to find the show I stumbled upon this nice review by Colin Hart in which, near the end he has this to say:

The episode also features a great original score by composer David Carbonara, especially in the scenes that bookend the hour. The strings are reflective, and carry a distinct Irish tone.

Colin Hart at

What’s very true in that statement is the phrase, ” distinct Irish tone”. The producer asked me to compose a theme reminiscent of the 1930’s depression era incorporating an Appalachian sound representing Don Draper’s childhood farm. The instrumentation I used was:

But I think my love for Irish music may have gotten in the way. Well, let’s say it just took over the process, and the piece ended up writing itself. One comment in the YouTube video comments section nailed it with this:

Reminds me of Appalachia…Irish roots…

“Irishgrl” on Youtube

And Like many “themes” that I came up with, this one never got used again in the series. I had originally titled this theme “The Whitman Family Farm Theme” as I had planned on using it in more than just the one episode, but the series didn’t avail itself to more “life on the farm”. So, at least we have this cue playing through the end credits. On my album, Mad Men On The Rocks, I incorporated this piece with another cue to make a longer album track, but in the YouTube clip below it stands on its own.

So thank you “Irishgrl”, spot on! And thank you Colin Hart for the kind words. You can also check out the album release of this piece on the usual music streaming services as well.

They/Them/Us World Premier

“Nostalgia” says Don Drapper. It’s delicate but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound. It’s not called the wheel. It’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home.
Don Drapper’s powerful pitch for the Kodak Carousel in the finale of season one has been considered by many to be his greatest pitch, it certainly was to my ears/ I was always captivated by the music in Jon’s voice, and I do believe he was a major influenced in my composing for the show, as I often scored Don Drapper’s scenes and less of the other characters.

Don and Betty Carousel Pitch

The Carousel from Mad Men is a great piece of writing by Matthew Weiner, as well as creating editing by Malcolm Jamison. But if it wasn’t for Jon Hamm’s performance, I don’t think I would have scored the scene as well as I did.
Check out The Carousel from Mad Men on YouTube and scroll through some of the comments and you’ll see how this scene has touched many people.

They/Them/Us World Premier

Here’s David Carbonara’s song Babylon in episode 6 from season 1 of Mad Men, which was also named “Babylon” and was originally aired on August 23rd, 2007. Adapted from Don McLean’s version and based on Psalm 137 (more here).

It was the first on-camera song that I produced for the series Mad Men, and I got a cameo appearance to boot😎

They/Them/Us World Premier

By the waters
The waters
Of Babylon
We lay down and wept
And wept
For thee Zion
We remember
Thee remember
Thee remember
Thee Zion

They Them Us Score Suite
by David Carbonara

Just a sample of the music composed for the indie film “They/Them/Us” and screened at the DWF Film Festival in Los Angeles. It was great to sit in a theater with a very engaged audience and watch everyone’s hard work come to life. I hope it gets a great distribution deal soon!

They/Them/Us World Premier