Song of the Day #111: ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ – Kermit the Frog

kermitSometimes what the world really needs is the wisdom of a muppet. Today’s song, performed by a frog with a hand up his ass, is one of simplest yet most profound “message” songs I know.

What better way to open children’s eyes to the beauty of diversity (and, on the flip side, the ugliness of prejudice) than through a sweet ballad like this? I’ve always been amazed by Jim Henson’s ability to not only stay in the voice of Kermit and the other muppets but to emote so effectively at the same time. He is missed.

This song seems appropriate this week, when we’ve both crossed a racial barrier and reinforced a barrier against gays and lesbians. This song applies equally well to those who are green, black or brown and those who love the “wrong” people. Not to mention people who are too heavy or too thin, too short or too tall… in a word, too different.

As Kermit points out, there’s no such thing. We’re all beautiful.

It’s not that easy being green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that

It’s not easy being green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

But green’s the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean, or important
Like a mountain, or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful
And I think it’s what I want to be

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #111: ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ – Kermit the Frog

  1. Dana says:

    I am not sure if this is Kermit’s finest work.

    Though not released in the US, his bootleg collection from the European concert series was truly groundbreaking. The highlight may have been when he turned this particular song on its head by declaring before a Berlin crowd, “You know what, people, it’s gotten a lot f%&$#( easier being green now that I am making the green, know what I’m saying?…So it’s time to rock this bitch!” He then went electric, and launched into a punk version of the song, changing the words to:

    It’s f%_^^ easy being green
    Enjoying having a guy’s fingers up my ass
    When I think about all the money that I make,
    and the girl frogs that do kinky things with my little froggy legs…

    Sure, his experimental work was met with loud boos and cries that he was an “amphibian Judas,” but critics knew that Kermit was on the cutting edge of greatness..:)

  2. Kerrie says:

    Aww, I love Kermit. (And green is my favorite color!) I agree with you about Henson’s ability to sing Kermit with such feeling. It’s a sweet little song with a nice message, but I still believe “The Rainbow Connection” was Kermit’s finest work.

  3. pegclifton says:

    I always loved this song and it’s message, never heard about the other version Dana just mentioned–just as well, I think I’ll stick with the original 🙂

  4. Clay says:

    Oh my…

  5. Amy says:

    Found this lovely version of “The Rainbow Connection,” as performed by Jason Mraz. Before I read all the comments (horrifying and otherwise), I, too, thought of “RC” as being another of “Kermit’s finest works.” In fact, these songs are practically companion pieces, with “Rainbow” more explicitly expressing the hopes only hinted at in “It’s Not Easy…” Both songs are special, and Jim Henson was a genius.

    Meanwhile, there are protests against amendment 2 brewing for this Saturday in several cities throughout Florida. Anyone game? Kermit can provide our theme music.

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