I'm listening to a recording of "The Rainbow Connection," and I'm having trouble containing myself.
I listen to that song and I can feel myself swell with something that even if it were bullshit would make me want to embrace bullshit wholeheartedly. I remember seeing Kermit sing this song at the end of the Muppet Movie. It was 1979, I was 7 years old, and I experienced for the first time a sense that music, movies, art, whatever had something more to offer than just entertainment--or maybe it was an inkling that mere entertainment was something much bigger than I had at first thought it.
It's amazing and perfect really that Paul Williams wrote this song specifically for the movie. The Carpenters did an unreleased cover, and Sarah McLaughlin actually does a haunting cover as well, but the song was originally written for Kermit the Frog. And that's really wonderful and cruel. I mean on the one hand, you want to say what the hell was a song of such simple and stirring beauty doing tagged onto the end of The Muppet Movie, but on the other hand you have to say isn't it great that so many (and I know I'm not alone) unsuspecting 7 year olds were steamrolled by this song. I'm sure this song touched a generation in ways that we'll never understand.
I can still remember the moment. Kermit sitting on a log clumsily knocking about on a banjo. Me sitting there feeling somehow pulled forward toward the screen, wondering at the sensation of goosebumps rising on my arm in a perfectly warm theater.
The song, both in what it say and what it is, is a constant reminder that no matter where you are, no matter how low or how high you feel yourself standing, there is always something more, some great unknowable lurking just beyond the edges of your expectations , your imagination, and your capacity to wonder.
"I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that I'm s'posed to be."
This song, to put it simply, is why I write.
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