Friday, July 1, 2011

30 Songs in 30 Days, Day 15: A Song That Describes You

I was anxious about this one from the moment I saw it on the list. I have no idea how I would describe myself, let alone find the song to match. How can anyone know themselves well enough to fulfill the task? Is how I see myself even the real me? Wouldn't it be more meaningful to let My Wife pick this one for me? Of course, that option is fraught with greater perils...

So, I approached the problem from another angle. There are songs of which I am very protective. While they may be quite well-known, I irrationally think of them as belonging only to ME. I imagine other people feel the same way, if not about a song, then perhaps a book, a film, a painting, a poem or what have you. These songs connect to my essential being, those aspects of self which I don't share easily even with those closest to me. Perhaps those works say more about who I am than anything I could possibly put into words. When I considered the matter on those terms, I knew which song I had to pick.

Song: "Bein' Green"
Writer: Joe Raposo
Singer: Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog

As a teenager, I was deeply affected by the deaths of two famous men. The first was Len Bias, about whom I have written before. The second was Jim Henson. Interestingly, they went to the same high school: Northwestern in Hyattsville, Maryland. Both attended the University of Maryland. Both died far too young.

When Henson passed on, I could not help but feel I had lost an old friend. I can hardly imagine my childhood without Muppets. I was devoted to Sesame Street well past the appropriate age. The '70s were the golden years for the show, when Henson's genius permeated. I loved everything: Mr. Hooper, Super Grover, The Count, the trip to the chewing gum factory, all of it. I had books, records, even the Fischer-Price play set. I first watched The Muppet Show the night Bert and Ernie made a guest appearance and my appreciation for that show has only increased as I've aged.

Photo via Unlikely Words

I have always been especially fond of Henson's amphibious alter ego. Kermit is not the funniest, the smartest nor the cutest Muppet. But he is loyal, dependable and entirely without pretense. He sees his friends through every inevitable disaster: the quiet, humble leader. He is, in short, everything I wish to be.

As for the song, I have to admit that as a kid, I was far more likely to stick out like a sore thumb than to go unnoticed. But "Bein' Green" is ultimately about a longing to be appreciated. Who among us cannot relate to that yearning? In the end, the frog finds fulfillment in a sense of self-worth. So might we all.

A few bonus Kermit treats for the road:

The following was entirely unplanned but the producers knew good when they saw it.

Photo via Flickr


I hope you'll join us for the "30 Songs in 30 Days" challenge, inspired by the tumblr list. Our 30 Songs roster:

Stay on target...
Marc Whitman's Blog
Haley says "Hello" To You

It's never too late to post your own. Tomorrow is...

Day 16: A Song That You Used to Love but Now Hate


  1. The Squid wrote: "Is how I see myself even the real me?"

    In the last few years (with age comes wisdom?) I think i finally answer the above question with a resounding "YES!"

  2. Now I can see why this post stood out in memory.

    1. See. Names are just labels. This is the stuff that matters.