Still a treasured piece of real estate 40 years later

Ernie and Bert

This is why I say no food in bed.

If you’ve used the Google homepage any time during the past week, you probably already know. But in case you’re not sure what it all means, let me assure you that the meaning is brought to you by the letters H, U, G, and E. Sesame Street aired its first episode forty years ago. A lot of kidlets learned valuable lessons from the show, including but not limited to useful Spanish words, numbers, and when to put down the duckie. Then, perhaps inevitably, many of us grew up to be Grouches, Cookie Monsters, and Super Grovers.

Alongside the lovable cast of Muppets, there were humans who smiled and sang and treated all the human children with care and respect. Though I don’t watch the show anymore, it makes me truly happy to know that Bob, Susan, Gordon, Maria, Luis, and Linda are still hard at work, enriching the soft skull years for the current generation of kidlets. I don’t want to consider the thought of children’s television without them. I won’t even get into the day that Mr. Hooper stopped coming to work at his store.

Beyond fondness for the artifacts of one’s youth and gratitude for extra help with the alphabet, I think everyone who watched Sesame Street can agree on the intangible, emotional pull the show had on our hearts then and still holds today. Maybe it’s a hackneyed observation, but Big Bird and Snuffy and the monsters and even that megalomaniac, Elmo, all had characteristics that a viewer could see in herself or aspire to be. Sesame Street is more than a televised school day because it makes you feel the pride of the characters’ accomplishments, the apprehension they experience as events change their neighborhood, and the affection they have for each other. When does art end and life begin? What kind of a person did Sesame Street make me want to be? What kind of life would I have wanted without Sesame Street?

As it turns out, the show even possesses prescient powers. When I was a kid, I always loved the pleasing melody of Ernie’s lullaby, “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon.” It’s a surprisingly sophisticated song, as Ernie weighs the desire for adventure and imaginative travels with the comforts and joys of home. Since more than a few adults struggle to find a balance between the two, I think this song is brilliant. Plus, any writer, artist, or chronic daydreamer probably understands why I have an affinity for a chorus that starts with “Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above, I would miss all the places and people I love.”

“I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon”

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7 Responses to “Still a treasured piece of real estate 40 years later”

  1. 1 Kate November 11, 2009 at 12:53 AM

    Hey remember this one?

    • 2 oldvertue0103 November 11, 2009 at 4:06 AM

      Yes! And awesome. But now my adult viewing makes me wonder what kind of royal backstabbings took place among the seven brothers when the crown was handed over.

  2. 3 Mark November 11, 2009 at 12:58 AM

    Which era is this song from? I was waiting for it to get funky, early-’70s style.

  3. 4 oldvertue0103 November 11, 2009 at 4:00 AM

    I think it was late 70s, ’78 according to my random web source. Aaron Neville sings a version at some point, so you have that for soulful, if not necessarily funky.

  4. 5 Kitty November 11, 2009 at 11:07 AM


    What about this one?!

    Warning – don’t follow the link if, like me, your brain can’t not repeat Little Jerry and The Monotones singing “very angry, very very angry…we’re mad…very angry, very very angry” incessantly.

    Love them.

  5. 7 Danielle November 30, 2009 at 3:39 AM

    Holy shit, Kim! This was my FAVORITE Sesame Street song growing up!

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