My favourite of the 13 seasons (14 in the DVD count) is 1980 - '81; season 3, DVD-4. This was of course the last season with the late Jim Davis, acting John Ross Senior better known as Jock. Jim was in many B type Westerns and had fringe or recurring roles in T.V. e.g. DEATH VALLEY DAYS, STORIES OF THE CENTURY, GUNSMOKE and RESCUE 8. Yet it wasn't until near the end of his life when he hit the jackpot, as the Ewing patriarch.
I would rate another four opening credits / theme tunes in a top five, like this:
2) 1986 - '87; season 9, DVD-10.
3) 1984 - '85; season 7, DVD-8.
4) 1979 - '80; season 2, DVD-3.
5) 1989 - '90; season 12, DVD-13.
All change with the exploding dirt, no more 3-way splits and the theme tune receives its greatest tweak.
The Ewings are in the dining room of Southfork, eating breakfast prepared by Theresa. Ellie says she will stop the Takapa lake development; since she is spearheading the wild life preserve project, in the same location. Mama Ewing leaves the dining room. Jock is at the helm of Takapa, unbeknown to his wife, (a scene from season 3; DVD-4, 1980-'81):
Bobby: "Daddy! Daddy!"
Jock is reading the newspaper: "What?"
Bobby: "Don't you think you should tell Mama you're one of the Takapa developers?"
Jock: "Look Bobby, I run my business and I decide when and where I'll tell anyone about it. You understand?"
Ray joins the company of Jock, J.R. and Bobby.
Ray: "Morning! I don't mean to rush you Jock but you were supposed to meet those builders over there at 10 o'clock."
Jock: "Well, you're not rushing me Ray."
Jock gets up from his seat, at the opposite side of the table where Ellie sits.
Jock: "I got nothing more to say here, anyway."
Bobby: "Daddy, I mean it. I think you should tell her."
Jock: "Are you telling me what I gotta do these days, Bobby?"
Bobby: "No sir! No, I'm not. I just think it's fair that she knows, that's all."
Jock: "Well, how can a man be fair when his own wife barely speaks to him? You tend to your politics Bobby, or whatever it is these days. Ray and I'll take care of Takapa. You understand? Ready, Ray?"
Ray: "All set Jock!"
Jock and Ray head for their meeting, leaving J.R. and Bobby to think over what their father said.
J.R.: "Bobby. I thought you learned something when you were a young boy. I guess I was wrong."
Bobby: "Learned what?"
J.R.: "Never cross Daddy, when it comes to business. Never!"
Based purely on the theme and not the titles themselves, one of my favourites versions of the theme tune, and possibly my absolute favourite, is the one used for Dallas: War of The Ewings. I like the slightly faster tempo and the slightly more understated playing of the counter melody.