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October 8, 2015

The Five: Best Sesame Street songs

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 14th 2006 11:43AM
joe raposoI suppose a piece about my favorite songs from Sesame Street wouldn't be complete without an initial shout out to the late Joe Raposo (pictured on the right), who composed a majority of the songs for the show, including the theme song. You might not know who he is, but he's the man responsible for planting a lot of those childhood tunes in your synapses. Let's kick it:
  • Bein' Green: Possibly my favorite Sesame Street song, if only for the sentiment. Kermit's lament about being plain and "not standing out like flashy sparkles on the water or stars in the sky" is still deeply moving, at least to me, anyway. The song was later covered by both Frank Sinatra and Lena Horne.
  • Rubber Ducky: Ernie's ode to his bathtime friend has the honor of being the song I sing to myself at least once a day while working around my house. According to David Borgenicht's book Sesame Street Unpaved, the Boston Pops once performed this song with the percussion section squeaking actual rubber duckies.
  • I Don't Want To Live On The Moon: Another sad but uplifting song in the vein of Bein' Green. Ernie sang about why living on the moon (or under the sea, or in the jungle) would be a nice adventure, but that ultimately, there's nothing like being at home with those you love.
  • Sing: Sesame Street's breakout hit! Well, sort of. The Carpenters certainly popularized the song with their version. It was a nice reminder that a good song is a good song, whether it's made for children or not. Besides, only the most jaded among us won't start belting out that "la la la la la" chorus when it kicks in. Remember, "don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear."
  • I Love Trash: This was on a Sesame Street album my sister and I listened to growing up. Oscar may have been a grouch, but he knew how to love, as long as it was "anything dirty or dingy or dusty." A fun, upbeat song, and a nice little ode to individuality.

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"I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" is my personal favorite. So sweet and melancholy and memorable.

But I also like the "Hard Workin' Dog" song. Not sure what the proper title is, but that one's a strong link to my childhood (which didn't occur that long ago, though it feels like it). It was the song they played for a live-action segment about Border Collies, a breed of which both my parents are quite fond.

January 15 2006 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

In her TV special "Barbra Streisand And Other Musical Instruments" (just put on DVD), she sang a great version of "Sing"!

January 15 2006 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tuna d'luna

I'm so glad that the great Sesame Street songs are getting attention, however little it may be. My FAVORITE, FAVORITE S.S. song of all time is a song about rain. I don't know the name of it (maybe "Rain"?) but I wrote the lyrics down and used to sing it all the time to my little boy when we were living in London (yes, it airs over there) because it was often rainy or wet and it was such a positive song about rain. By the way, my little boy just turned 20 last Wednesday.

January 15 2006 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh another favorite: Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (said as one word)

January 15 2006 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some of my faves not mentioned:

- Doin' the Pigeon
- Ladybug Picnic

January 14 2006 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My son is 16 months old, so I am now rediscovering Sesame Street, all of my favorite songs from when I was a kid, and some new favorites.

I really dig it when artists from today make guest appearances. Here are a few favorites:

1) "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" with Aaron Neville.

2) "I Don't Know Why Y Didn't Come" with Nora Jones.

3)"Pride" (like their song "Slide) with Elmo and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Any other notable guest stars on lately?

January 14 2006 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Danny Edwards is right, manamana was only popularized by Sesame Street.

January 14 2006 at 6:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alligator King

One two three four five six seven!

Said the Alligator King to his seven sons,
"I'm feelin' mighty down.
Whichever of you can cheer me up
Will get to wear my crown."

January 14 2006 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate the way it's become so PC

Cookie monster used to sing "C is for cookie"
now because kids are getting more and more obese Cookie monster now sings "A cookie is a sometimes food"

maybe they should change his name to "a sometimes" cookie monster.

January 14 2006 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danny Edwards

Mah na mah na is originally from a 60s Swedish porn film. I have it as my ring tone.

January 14 2006 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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