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I’ve got the last two discs of season two of The Wire out now. One good thing abut a low-rated show is that I don’t seem to be fighting anyone else at the video store for it — it’s always been in stock. Turns out they’re not getting season three for another few weeks, and who knows when season four will be available, and the fifth and final hasn’t even started airing yet, so I guess I’ll have some waiting to do soon enough.

But in the meantime, I’ve got another Wire-related project: tracking down the theme song in all its incarnations. It’s always the same song, “Way Down in the Hole,” written by Tom Waits, but always a different version.

The first season, it’s covered by The Blind Boys of Alabama, and immediately on hearing it, I had to get the bluesy tune from iTunes. Second season, it’s Tom Waits himself, and it took me a few episodes to realize I wouldn’t be satisfied until I got that version, too. It appears I have The Neville Brothers and a Baltimore Boys Choir to look forward to, and there’s rumours that season five’s version will be by Steve Earle.

Check out snippets of the first four below (closing theme is “The Fall” by The Wire‘s music supervisor Blake Leyh).

Season One – Blind Boys of Alabama

Season Two – Tom Waits

Season Three – The Neville Brothers

Season Four – DoMaJe