If you thought I would end this musical journey with any other song than the one that started it all — you’re nutso. There’s no way I wouldn’t include the one song where you only have to hear the opening beats in order to be instantly be taken back to Tree Hill.

For the first four seasons, “I Don’t Want To Be” by Gavin DeGraw served as the opening credits theme song and that in itself makes it the “ultimate OTH tune. These days television shows don’t really include theme songs anymore, including One Tree Hill.

More than just a catchy beat and a incredible soulful voice, the lyrics Gavin wrote embodied the show. We’ve watched these characters grow up, and through all of the drama, happiness, tears, love, friendships and horror, the people of Tree Hill have always been trying to just find themselves.

“I don’t want to be anything other than me.”

“Part of where I’m going is knowing where I’m coming from.”

Quite fitting, I’d say.

The tenth episode [#1.09 “You Gotta Go There To Come Back”] allowed for Gavin to make his first appearance on the show and perform at Karen’s Cafe. In season five, after the theme song was removed from the episodes, Gavin came back to Tree Hill and acoustically performed the song with actor Jackson Brundage for the opening moments of the fifth season finale [#5.18 “What Comes After The Blues”]. But, OTH once again made history when they brought back their theme song for the eighth season and switched things up by allowing other artists to perform “I Don’t Want To Be” each week. It definitely got mixed reviews due to the fact that no one can sing it like Gavin. Luckily, we finished out that season with Mr. DeGraw’s version.

As we end the final chapter of “One Tree Hill” with this ninth and final season, I’m so happy to say we’ll be doing it with a little help from our favorite voice. The series finale celebrates the 10th anniversary of TRIC with a special performance by none other than Gavin DeGraw.

See? Even he knows we want to close out on the highest note.


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