Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Enviromental Message Of Kermit The Frog


(Above): Kermit the Frog, born in the swamp, taught us to appreciate nature before it was cool to be green.

From the Muppet Wiki website:
Bein' Green, originally titled Green, is one of Kermit the Frog's best-known songs. It was written in 1970 by Joe Raposo for the first season of Sesame Street, and has since become an American standard.

In the song, Kermit expresses his ambivalence about his color, noting that green "blends in with so many other ordinary things" and wishing that he were some other color instead. During the bridge, Kermit realizes that there are some powerful associations with the color -- "green can be big, like a mountain, or important, like a river, or tall like a tree." In the end, he decides that he's happy to be green -- "it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be."

The song was described in a Children's Television Workshop press release as "a frog's poignant realization of his own dignity and worth."  The song has been viewed as a powerful message in favor of environmental consciousness.

(Above): In 1970, good guy Kermit taught children about environmental consciousness the same year the EPA was founded.

The song appeared on The Sesame Street Book & Record and has been recorded numerous times since, both by Jim Henson and Steve Whitmire as Kermit, as well as by musicians like Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra, demonstrating the song's universal themes. Bein' Green is not just for frogs. "It's not easy being green," a paraphrased lyric from the song, has become one of Kermit's catchphrases.

(Above): Kermit sings Bein' Green.
From Green Education: An A-to-Z Guide edited by Julie Newman:
A number of television shows have sought to engage children in sustainability issues, primarily through the educational nature of the medium.  Sesame Street offered a range of story lines supporting environmental responsibility.  Oddly, the catch phrase "It's not easy being green" came from a song by Kermit the Frog about accepting individual differences, yet the slogan transformed over time into and ironic yet engaging claim for environmental sacrifice.  Maintaining a safe (and clean) neighborhood was core to the message of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, a message expanded globally by the superhero activist Captain Planet.