We bring you the best of the Muppets original songs…
MUPPETS MOST WANTED hits Irish cinemas this week, and Oscar winning songsmith Bret McKenzie fills it with wonderful new songs. To celebrate The Muppets, and Bret’s song writing skills, we took a look back over the original songs The Muppets have brought us over their career.
We had to lead with an iconic song. Rainbow Connection – originally sung by Jim Henson as Kermit – was Oscar nominated in 1980 but lost out to It Goes Like It Goes from NORMA RAE. In the song, Kermit dreams of a better, more magical world and finding something more in his life. The song has been covered numerous times over the years – not least by The Dresden Dolls, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Weezer and Hayley Williams and Kenny Loggins – and formed part of the climax for the 2011 film THE MUPPETS.
MAN OR MUPPET
A new Muppet classic, Man or Muppet, was written by Bret McKenzie for the 2011 film THE MUPPETS, and went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song. Sung by Jason Segel and Peter Linz as Walter, the song shines a light on Gary and Walter’s struggles to find where they belong in life; with the Muppets or with their families. Bret McKenzie has said that he was inspired by classic power ballads when writing the song, but he wanted it to be sincere, yet slightly ridiculous. You nailed it, Bret!
Songs recorded by The Muppets often contain themes aimed at kids learning to accept themselves for who they are, and Bein’ Green is one of those songs. First performed on Sesame Street, Bein’ Green sees Kermit lamenting his pigmentation and wishing to be a different colour. By the end of the song, however, Kermit has realised that his greenness is what makes him great, and has embraced it. The song has been cited as celebrating diversity, and expressing melancholy. Speaking of melancholy, Sesame Street’s Big Bird sang Bein’ Green at two memorial services for Jim Henson in 1990, and broke our hearts all over again.
MOVIN’ RIGHT ALONG
Another song from the 1979 MUPPET MOVIE, Movin’ Right Along is sung by Kermit and Fozzie Bear as they journey cross country to LA in search of fame and fortune. The song is upbeat and fun, and chronicles Kermit and Fozzie’s trip to LA, their friendship and the idea that they are more than a little excited at the idea of a new life. The pair pass Big Bird on the road and offer him a lift, in a little nod to The Muppets origins on Sesame Street. The sequence in the film also celebrates the classic American road trip, and shows the country off at it’s best.
THE MUPPET SHOW THEME SONG
Written in 1976 by Jim written by Henson and Sam Pottle, The Muppet Show Theme Song opened every episode of the TV show, and was used for the start of the Muppet Telethon in THE MUPPETS. The song is filled with nostalgia for those of us who grew up watching the Muppets on TV, and encapsulates the often manic energy of The Muppets, as Kermit introduces the special guest, they sing and dance their way on stage and Gonzo tries – and often fails – to give the song a big ending.
Since their inception, The Muppets have recorded over 800 songs, and we give special mention to their cover versions of the instantly catchy Mahna Mahna, their super silly version of Ode to Joy featuring Bunsen and Beaker, Their epic and hilarious version of Bohemian Rhapsody and their collaboration with CeeLo Green; All I Need Is Love.
Which is your favourite song by The Muppets? Let us know in the comments below.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED is in irish cinemas from March 28th
Words: Brogen Hayes