“Maybe tomorrow, I’ll want to settle down…. Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep moving on.”

To Canadians of a certain age, those words are as embedded in the brain as any No. 1 pop hit. The theme to The Littlest Hobo, CTV’s show about a heroic German Shepherd, has endured as one of the country’s greatest TV tunes. And with the series still in syndication around the world, its co-writer continues to receive praise from listeners touched by the song. Terry Bush, now retired, tells us about its legacy.

How did you come to write the theme for The Littlest Hobo?
I was strongly in the jingle business when I got a call from Simon Christopher Dew who was producing a remake of The Littlest Hobo, which had been on in black-and-white in the 1960s, and he said he wanted a new theme for it. He explained what the show was and what they were looking for, and I got together with a friend from the ad business, John Crossen, who is a lyricist, and we put a demo together. I sang and wrote the music. And it was hated.

Like so many Canadian Classics, the execs didn’t “hear” it right away?
It was rejected by the production company, who got someone from New York to produce a new song. But then they decided they didn’t like that either and came back to me. There was a lot of re-writing, but I was very pleased with it in the end.

What was the initial reaction when the show aired?
The show was very popular worldwide. And that was kind of the end of it for me, for a while. But when I was doing it a musician friend told me not to give up my royalties. CTV wanted to pay me, work for hire. But instead I wrote it for nothing and kept my royalties. I didn’t mange to keep the publishing.

When did “Maybe Tomorrow” start appearing in TV ads?
In 1999, I heard from someone that the song was being used in a commercial in England. I checked it out and, son of a gun, it was the National Westminster Bank, an award-winning ad, a huge success. So I got on the phone to CTV and said, “Hey, they’re using our song.” Deluxe Paints used it too a few years back.

Is that why you decided to re-record and release the song yourself?
Yes, I put together a CD of my own so people could actually buy the song. Because if you go to YouTube there are all these different versions, but not the original. I produced this in my own studio, and I stuck to it as close as I could, with a new verse written by John. Since I put it on iTunes. I’ve been inundated with letters from people thanking me, telling me stories about how it brings back memories.

What is your fondest memory of creating it, looking back?
I was just trying to write a nice song, and get the rolling feel of the dog running through the woods. And John wrote beautiful lyrics that captured the whole feeling of the show. I found out in England they sing it in pubs at the end of the night. The show is huge in England and the show is still popular here.