120 Awesome Muppet Songs, Part 6


Ryan Dosier – Wow. I really can’t believe we’ve been showcasing this list of Awesome Muppet Songs for six weeks. We’ve already gone through so many classics it’s hard to believe there’s still 45 songs left! Well, believe it, and check out the 15 songs that make up this week’s list. And don’t miss out on Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 for all of the Muppet song goodness!

76.   “Twelve Days of Christmas” from John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together
Okay, if any of you reading out there can tell me that this isn’t the greatest performance of this song ever recorded… well, you’re wrong. There is nothing more satisfying than the Muppets and John Denver rattling off the 12 Days of Christmas is beautiful harmony. It’s fun, it’s charming, and it’s darn funny when Miss Piggy starts off on her “ba dum bum bum.” Everyone is in beautiful voice here–yes, even Lew Zealand–and it’s the perfect Christmas carol. Special shout-out to the version the Muppets performed with Jimmy Fallon a few yeas ago as well. Favorite lyrics: “Fiiiiiive goooooold riiiiiiings… Ba dum bum bum!”

77.   “Fuzzy and Blue (and Orange)” from Sesame Street
It’s hard to top Grover, Herry, and Cookie Monster with canes and top hats performing this soft-shoe delight. The trio is just so proud of being fuzzy and blue that they simply had to perform this cute little song about it. But then, of course, Frazzle comes in and confuses everything by being orange. It’s okay though, because Grover is accepting of the ravenous Frazzle (mostly because he’s ravenous) and adjusts the lyrics accordingly. I love this song for the fact that it’s Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson harmonizing with each other and themselves. Favorite lyrics: “Fuzzy and blue/Me said me fuzzy and blue/From head to bottom of shoe/That right me fuzzy and blue!”

78.   “C is for Cookie” from Sesame Street
When you think about it, it’s both hysterical and amazing that Cookie Monster sings as many wonderful songs as he does. He doesn’t have proper grammar, but he sings with the best of them. Take his anthem, theme song, and greatest number for example. “C is for Cookie” is such a simple idea that Cookie Monster (with help from Joe Raposo) spun into this joyful song. It spells out Cookie’s love for cookies, his understanding of the third letter of the alphabet, and his desire to eat the moon. It’s simple elegance. Favorite lyrics: “C is for cookie/That’s good enough for me/C is for cookie/That’s good enough for me/Oh! Cookie cookie cookie starts with C!”

79.   “Things That I Remember” from Sesame Street
This is one of my very favorite modern Sesame Street songs. If you’ve never heard it, stop reading and take a few minutes to listen and watch this beautiful song from Bert and Ernie. The timeless duo reminisce their wonderful adventures and goofy happenings. This song works on so many levels. First, it’s a beautiful tribute to Jim Henson and Frank Oz since all the clips shown were performed by them. Second, it’s one of the final songs Sesame master songwriter Jeff Moss wrote for the show. Finally, it’s just a beautiful and perfect Bert and Ernie moment. Favorite lyrics: “Each day has its memories/And when the day is through/Things that I remember/Are the things I did with you.”

80.   “Follow Me” from Fraggle Rock
The best song from Fraggle Rock was in the first episode of the show. By no means does that mean the rest of the songs used throughout the course of the show weren’t brilliant… but “Follow Me” is just the best. It is such a perfect duet between Traveling Matt and Gobo. The lyrics and music are pure magic and pure Fraggle. The innocent, beautiful acoustic guitar used in the entire song is awesome. It doesn’t get better than this. Major shout-out to the special extended version written for Jerry Juhl and available on the bonus features for Fraggle Rock Season 2 on DVD. Favorite lyrics: “While the sun goes round I’ll still be found/Followin’ the sound/Somethin’s callin’ me/When the world goes driftin’ back to bed/Memories in my head/Wonders follow me.”

81.   “To Morrow” from The Muppet Show
The silliness of this song is amazing. And yes, if you’re wondering, Morrow is an actual place in numerous states in the US. Jim Henson and Jerry Nelson sing so wonderfully in this song it almost distracts from how incredibly goofy the lyrics are. The County Trio is such a brilliant idea and this is undoubtedly their best performance. The song is a great duet for Jim and Jerry but it is Frank who gets the biggest laugh croaking out “I don’t get it” at the end. Favorite lyrics: “If you had gone to Morrow yesterday now don’t you see/You could’ve gone to Morrow and returned today at 3/For the train today to Morrow, if the schedule is right/Today it gets to Morrow and returns tomorrow night.”

82.   “One More Sleep ‘til Christmas” from The Muppet Christmas Carol
Another perfect Christmas song, this one sung beautifully by Kermit. Looking back on this song, it’s truly amazing that it is the first song Steve Whitmire performed as Kermit, because Kermit is in prime voice here. Yes, in a few spots he sounds slightly off, but 20 years later there is no doubt that this is Kermit. Another Paul Williams masterpiece, this is yet another song that deserves radio time every holiday season. It’s beautiful and charming and perfectly Kemity. Favorite lyrics: “There’s somethin’ in the wind today/That’s good for everyone/Yes faith is in our hearts today/We’re shinin’ like the sun/Yes everyone can feel it/The feelin’s runnin’ deep/After all there’s only one more sleep ’til Christmas.”

TMS503-0983.   “Blackbird” from The Muppet Show
This is my favorite Floyd Pepper song, and I will always assert that it is better than the original Beatles version. I told Jerry Nelson that once, and being the wonderfully humble man he is, he thanked me but disagreed. Still, Floyd has never been more soulful or impressive than he is in this beautiful song. He croons with such heartfelt wonder that you can’t help but love it. Favorite lyrics: “Blackbird singin’ in the dead of night/Take these broken wings and learn to fly/All your life/You were only waiting for this moment to arise.”

84.   “My Best Christmas Yet” from A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa
Boy, that Paul Williams sure does write a lot of Christmas songs for the Muppets! And thank goodness he does, because they’re gems. Even the songs from the not-too-beloved Letters to Santa are wonderful. “My Best Christmas Yet” is the stand-out, simply because it features so many Muppets and duets between Kermit and Gonzo, Kermit and Robin, Kermit and Fozzie, and Kermit and Piggy. You can’t beat that. Plus, Rowlf, Zoot lighting a menorah, Lew Zealand hanging a fish on the tree, tacky sweaters, and more. Favorite lyrics: “The skies are filled with wishes tonight/The skies are filled with prayers/The night is full of hope/And of promises kept/Because somebody cares.”

85.   “Put Down the Duckie” from Sesame Street
Hoots the Owl was so prominent in the late 80s on Sesame Street that he even got to sing a song with Ernie! And boy, what a song it is. I guess Ernie doesn’t really get to do much singing, and it really is Hoots’ song, but it’s still amazing. That saxophone mixed with the Rubber Dukie squeaks is awesome and surprisingly fitting. Hoots is so great when he sings and this is the best example of him rocking a song hard. Favorite lyrics: “Ya didn’t hear a word I said!/Ya gotta get it through your head/Don’t be a stubborn cluck/Ernie lay aside the duck!”

86.   “Pass it On” from Fraggle Rock
Casual Muppet fans probably best know this song from A Muppet Family Christmas, but it was first used in the Fraggle Rock episode “The Perfect Blue Rollie.” It features some of Wembley’s best harmonizing noises and lyrics sung by Gobo, Mokey, and Red. But really, it’s Wembley that steals this song. With his goofy grunts and excited shouts of “Pass it on!” Nobody does it like Wembley. Favorite lyrics: “When I give a gift to you/I know you’re gonna give it too/That’s why givin’s what we do/When we… Pass it on!”

87.   “One Fine Face” from Sesame Street
A semi-obscure choice, perhaps, but I adore this song. A rare duet between Ernie and Elmo, this silly-but-educational song is adorable. Ernie sings about the part of his face while Elmo helps by repeating them. Of course, Elmo doesn’t have ears, but it doesn’t really matter. Elmo steals the show here and Ernie gets the rare opportunity to play the straight man. Favorite lyrics: “You’ve got a chin/But what a chin does/You just can’t tell/(Just cannot tell!)”

88.   “Fraggle Rock Theme” from Fraggle Rock
Is there a song with more perfectly placed claps? I can’t think of one right now, but I doubt there is. Another perfect theme song for a Henson show, and one that perfectly describes the series, its characters, and its world. We see Fraggles dancing their cares away, Doozers working their cares away, encounter Gorgs, Doc in his workshop, and more. It’s truly an amazing feat of both song writing and storytelling in a very short song. Favorite lyrics: “Dance your cares away!/Worries for another day!/Let the music play!/Down at Fraggle Rock!”

89.   “Happy Tappin’ with Elmo” from Sesame Street
Ahh, my favorite Elmo song! Not only is this little number 100% adorable, it’s also insanely catchy and well-written. The lyrics and rhyme scheme are fantastic and perfect for Elmo. Also note the few times that Elmo actually says “me” in this song–that’s how you know this is vintage Elmo goodness! I absolutely love this song and it never fails to make me want to dance. Favorite lyrics: “Happy’s such a neat emotion/It’ll give your feet that happy notion/If your toes get tired rub in some lotion/And they’ll feel swell so come join Elmo!”

90.   “Man Or Muppet” from The Muppets
How perfect that we end today’s list with the most recent Awesome Muppet Song and the only Muppet song to win an Academy Award! And what a deserved win it was. Bret McKenzie’s fantastic power ballad duet between Walter and Gary (Jason Segel) is magnificent. Plus, this song got the biggest laugh in the movie when Jim Parsons walked out as human Walter. This song would give Muppet fans a new identity crisis… and an amazing new song to never get out of their heads. Favorite lyrics: “I look into these eyes/And I don’t recognize/The one I see inside/It’s time for me to decide/Am I a man?/Or am I a Muppet?”

Well that’s it for today! Don’t miss next week’s continuation of the list. Only two more installments left of 120 Awesome Muppet Songs!

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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