Song of the Day #4,654: ‘Rainbow Connection’ – Kermit the Frog

The Library of Congress addition to the National Recording Registry that got the most press last week was Kermit the Frog’s ‘Rainbow Connection.’ As well it should.

The opening ballad of the 1979 The Muppet Movie is one of the sweetest, gentlest odes to optimism ever written, and Kermit’s earnest performance is one for the ages. It says so much about the creative imagination of Jim Henson and his team that we so easily think of this puppet as a living, breathing artist in his own right.

I would argue that Kermit’s ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ is just as worthy of admission to the Registry. This frog has made a career out of delivering heartfelt life lessons with humor and smarts.

This song is great on its own, but the filmmaking in this scene is also sublime. Gliding along the waters of this peaceful swamp, we find Kermit perched on a log, banjo in hand, strumming and singing to nobody in particular.

It’s the perfect low-key intro to a silly adventure film, providing a melancholy undercurrent that makes the whole thing so much richer.

[Note: No April Fools Day post this year… as I wrote a year ago, I think COVID has turned the world into an ongoing prank on all of us. I had hoped we wouldn’t be living through it a year later, but at least things seem to be looking up.]

[Verse 1]
Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong wait and see

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

[Verse 2]
Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
Look what it’s done so far
What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see?

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me

All of us under its spell
We know that it’s probably magic

[Verse 3]
Have you been half asleep
And have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound
That calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it:
It’s something that I’m supposed to be

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me
Da-da-da-dee-da-da dum

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,654: ‘Rainbow Connection’ – Kermit the Frog

  1. willedare says:

    Thanks for sharing what has long been a favorite song of mine. I agree that “Being Green” is equally worthy of respect.. Someone recently sent me an anecdote about when they recorded “Rainbow Connection” for the soundtrack of the movie — and if I am remembering correctly Jim Henson started recording it in Kermit’s voice but without Kermit on his arm — and then was advised to get Kermit and let Kermit sing it — which he did so heartfully and beautifully!

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    Actually, this could have been a great April Fools post, as the song is indeed good enough to merit nomination and yet is still sung by a frog muppet. I join you and willedare, however, in being a fan of this earnest lovely song.

  3. Peg says:

    I love Kermit. Happy April Fool’s Day!

  4. Amy says:

    This song has taken on such poignancy over the years. At my old school, a young colleague (and alum of the school) died far too young. This song had been a favorite of his and the lower school choir sang it at the dedication of the amphitheater that had been named in his honor. Ever since that moment many years ago, I can never hear this song, whether sung by man or muppet ;), and not feel a lump in my throat. A worthy addition, indeed.

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