The Muppets Need New Songs

Published: November 2, 2022
Categories: Feature

Last week Kermit the Frog appeared with Bret McKenzie in New York City, where he sang ‘Rainbow Connection’.  A few days later he was on The Masked Singer, where he sang ‘Rainbow Connection’.  A few days after that he appeared at Lincoln Center, where he sang ‘Rainbow Connection’.  …I’m sensing a pattern here…

Listen, I love ‘Rainbow Connection’, it would likely be my favorite song of all time.  I’m on record saying I want it played at my funeral.  I’ve considered getting the lyrics tattooed under my existing Kermit eye tattoo.  It’s my jam, as the kids say.  I’m not going to complain any time Matt Vogel slips on the Frog and pretends to strum a banjo.  

‘Rainbow Connection’ is arguably the most famous Muppet song there is, being the opening to their very first movie.  It’s also one of their easiest to perform, because all they need is the backing track and a single Muppet performer.  Sure, they could sing The Muppet Show theme song, but unless you’ve got the full group together, it’s not going to make a lot of sense.  Also, you want the audience to be able to sing along, so having Kermit and Piggy do a rendition of, I don’t know, Lydia the Tattooed Lady, you might get a small amount who know the old vaudeville classic, but everyone else is going to be confused.  So, I get it, I get why ‘Rainbow Connection’ is getting all the glory.

That said, maybe it’s time they add some new songs to the repertoire?

What other songs could be sung by a single Muppet at an appearance?  Let’s assume they’re allowed to use a full backing track, but it needs to be something that could be performed by a single Muppet, and in this case, we’re going to say it’s Kermit, as he’s the main culprit.

Bein’ Green
Potentially the Muppets’ second biggest song, Kermit sang this on both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.  It’s a gorgeous song, sure, but it’s also a little… slow?  Not that Rainbow Connection is a bop, but Bein’ Green has more of a spoken word poetry feeling to it than a big number to bring the house down.  You aren’t going to get a swelling of people singing along to ‘Red or gold or yellow or something much more colorful like that’ than you are to ‘Have you been half asleep, and have you heard voices?’  Maybe they could rejig the song a little, add a banjo to it, and give it a second life.  The Bein’ Green Remix: Bein’ Groovy!

Happy Feet
Now this song is a bop.  Happy Feet is one of Kermit’s finest moments on The Muppet Show, and could have the ability to be a hit with Matt Vogel’s excellent puppetry (also, side note, he’s been crushing it lately).  The trick to this song is that it’s about Kermit’s feet, and yet we never see them.  The Muppets obviously have an affinity for the number as it featured in their live shows a few years back, done with Bobby Moynihan.  If it’s at an appearance and there’s no screen, all you need is Matt hiding behind a box and it keeps the magic of Kermit’s feet alive.  Plus, imagine the crowd going nuts during that last verse?

One More Sleep Til Christmas
Sure, this one is a little more niche because there isn’t a lot of real estate on the calendar when this song could be sung, but it’s a great choice for Kermit from November 1st through December 25th. Get Kermit on one of those ABC Christmas specials where he sings it just after some American Idol reject sings Silent Night. It also needs to be sung live, I don’t like when a Muppet lip syncs to a pre-recorded track during a live appearance. I know it’s weird, but you can almost tell they’re just moving their mouths. This is actually a song I’d assume would have been a bigger hit around the holidays. Get on it, Disney!

The Kermambo
Oh man, this song was all I listened to in 2008. Kermambo is a song that was on the old Muppet website and had a CGI Kermit forced to dance every time someone watched the video, as if he was doing it live. Michael Giacchino, Hollywood’s favorite composer and director of Marvel’s Werewolf By Night, wrote the music in one of his earlier credits. This song, in the right appearance, could be a big thing for The Muppets, because it gives Kermit the chance to be a little manic, similar to Happy Feet. Let the Frog cut a little loose, Disney! He’s been the voice of reason for too long. Side note – does anyone know where I can find the video that went with this song? It was GREAT!

Rainbow Connection but backwards
I dunno, maybe try sing it backwards and then if you reverse that track you’d hear it properly?

You Can Call Me Al
Come on, like you didn’t see that one coming.

Click here to sing with Ken Jeong on the ToughPigs forum!

By Jarrod Fairclough –

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