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Sing!
September 30, 2009 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Even if you don't know Joe Raposo's name, you probably have heard his music. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, Joe was the main composer of songs and incidental music for the children's television shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company. In this role, he wrote some of today's standards while also imprinting his musical stylings on the consciousness of a generation of children worldwide. In the second half of this post, you will find a curation of youtube-links leading to a good chunk of Joe Raposo's oeuvre -- all gems, mostly under two minutes each. Sing along if you know the words!

From Sesame Street

ABC-DEF-GHIAfrican Alphabet Song (With Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Kermit)African AnimalsAir (with Bip Bippadotta)Alaskan CarverAnimal Babies feedingAnimals have two partsAnimals FightingAs I Was Going to St. IvesAt the VetBaboonsBaby Climbs the StairsBackflipsBaker Counting Series (10)Bald EagleThe Ballad of Casey McPhee Basket o' kittehsThe Batty BatA Bee!Bein' a PigBein' Green (1969)Bein' Green (Ray Charles)Bein' Green (1975)Believe in Yourself (Diana Ross)BirdsBody PartsBugsButterfliesC is for CookieC is for Cookie (Candice Bergen version)Carving a Wood HorseCats have KittensChicken HatchingThe Chicken or the EggCity Alphabet SongClink, ClankColleen Lives in ArizonaComb Your FaceCornfieldCounting BoxesCounting BusesDancing GrooveDays of the week, with Roosevelt FranklinDentistDesertDid You Guess What It Is?Disco FrogDoctor's OfficeDoggy PaddleDoin' the PigeonDolphinsDown, Down, DownDressed UpDry & WetEatingEight Penny CandymanElephant Guessing GameElephantsEmpty, Full, EmptyEverybody Dance! (from the Pilot)Everybody Eats Everybody RunEverybody SleepsEverybody WashA FamilyFast Faster FastestFat Cat (with Bip Bippadotta)FishFish IIFish III (luminescent)FlyingFollow the Arrows (arrangement only)Forty DotsFour Furry FriendsThe Frog Prince Part 1The Frog Prince Part 2The Frog Prince Part 3FrogsFroggy (La de da de o day)Fruit SongGazelleGibbonGiraffesGo Ahead and TouchGrow High Grow LowHas Anybody Seen My Dog? HH building exerciseHamburger Bun FactoryHee Hee Ha HaHey Cow I See You NowHippo!Hoisting the neon sign 'o'HorseHorsesHow Do You Do? (Lena Horne & Grover)I Like AlaskaI Stand Up Straight and TallI'm an AardvarkI'm PrettyImaginationIt's AliveIt's a Long Hard ClimbI've Got Two JackrabbitJasper Johnson's J WalkJ Jump Kangaroo BluesKayakKidsLa, La, La! (Ernie and Bert's L song)Learning to walkLemursLet's Make a DreamA Little Bit at the BeginningLittle PlantLittle ThingsLionsLions IILook a little closerLook Through the Window (Placido Domingo)MarmosetMe(Everything I am is) MeMe and Yo (Everything I am is Me with Spanish verse)Me Lost Me Cookie At The DiscoMe Lost Me Cookie In The Mosh PitMother giving baby a bathMothers and BabiesThe National Association of "W" LoversNearly Missed (warning: Elmo & Rosie O'Donnell)Neon Sign "R"New LifeNew Life tribute YT vidNews Flash ThemeA New Way to WalkNumero Comparsa (w/Celia Cruz)The Off-Key Song (We are a couple of Grouches)One of These ThingsOne Little PenguinThe "Op" Family SongOpposite (Bip Bipadotta)OryxOscar's B SandwichOtter!Otters!!Over, Under, Around and ThroughP (animation)PandaPeanut ButterPelicansPenguinsPenguins 2PotteryPractice makes perfectPrairie DogPretty Baby (Rhinos' Love Song)PrimatesPut a Circle 'Round my NosePut on your KammikluukQuiet Time SongRain Falls (Oscar)Readers of the Open RangeRhinosRhyming in SchoolRiding a TortoiseRoad RunnerRound Ditty (Hippopotamus)Scuba Diver (on, into, under, through, around)Seeds SproutingSesame Street FeverSesame Street Theme (conclusion to Parents special)ShareSingSing (in Japanese, Korean)Sing (from the Sesame Street 25th Anniversary Special)Sing Your SynonymsThe Skin I'm InSleepy SlothSlideSmocksSnakeSomebody Come and PlayStarfishStarfish (cover by Universe Society)Swimming Animals and ChildrenSwing Up HighTailsTake a BreathTake My Hand There's a Bird on Me Things you can carryThree TurtlesToothbrushin' an OrcaTouch, Hold, FeelTravelling MusicianTreesTrying SongTwo is You and MeWarthogWater Baby WaterfowlWeaver Bird What Do You Do With a Pet? Wheelchair races with Sally StruthersWho is this Boy?Who You Lookin' At Tiger?Wood Carvings (Alaska)Would You Like to Buy an O?X Marks the Spot!You Need a BridgeYou're My BabyThe Zizzy Zoomers

From The Electric Company

A Hamburger? 𝄞 An E on the End 1 𝄞 An E on the End 2 𝄞 Argue 𝄞 Barley Farmer's Bar 𝄞 Be Kind to the Letter S 𝄞 Bicycle 𝄞 Billy Lick a Lolly 𝄞 Bleached Blonde Blanche 𝄞 Blizzard, Blow, Bloom 𝄞 BOOM! 𝄞 Candy Candles 𝄞 clunk! 𝄞 Coral 𝄞 Credits 𝄞 Deep, Deeper, Deepest 𝄞 Don't Bring Those Things 𝄞 Dr. Delight (Easy Reader) 𝄞 Easy (That's How I Move) 𝄞 Electric Company 𝄞 Face, Fingers, Feet 𝄞 Fight Song (Written by Tom Lehrer, arranged by Joe) 𝄞 Finch and Dench 𝄞 Fish 𝄞 Found Hound 𝄞 Free Sleep! 𝄞 Fruit! 𝄞 Go Wild! 𝄞 Good ol' Apostrophe S 𝄞 Grin 𝄞 Grumble, Growl & Grunt 𝄞 Hamburger 𝄞 Hat Song 𝄞 He Ho Hi 𝄞 Here Comes the Blob 𝄞 Heros! Hot Dogs! 𝄞 Hey, You Guys! 𝄞 Hill 𝄞 How is Howard? 𝄞 I am going to get that caterpillar. 𝄞 I don't have a cent 𝄞 I Like You 𝄞 I Love The Wind 𝄞 I was young once too 𝄞 I'm Small 𝄞 Ice Cream!! 𝄞 If it swims, we have it? 𝄞 If, you're so terrific! 𝄞 interstitials 𝄞 interstitials 𝄞 It Happens in May 𝄞 It's 𝄞 Jennifer of the Jungle 𝄞 Kissy Kiss Toothpaste 𝄞 Let's Get On With the Show 𝄞 Let's Rap (starring Violet Beuregarde from the first Wonka film) 𝄞 MC Battle: Easy Reader v. Dwayne 𝄞 Mumble Song 𝄞 My Name is Kathy 𝄞 N apostrophe T (Written by Tom Lehrer, arranged by Joe) 𝄞 Of 𝄞 Old Double E 𝄞 Oodles of Noodles 𝄞 ow and oa 𝄞 Pedro & Maurice the plant 𝄞 Platter of Plums 𝄞 Poison 𝄞 Shoo Shoo Sunshine 𝄞 Silent E (Written by Tom Lehrer, arranged by Joe) 𝄞 Silhouettes & Sundae Song 𝄞 Sing Out 𝄞 Slip Him Some Skin 𝄞 Slop the Hogs 𝄞 Spidey Fixes the Hum 𝄞 Sun/Stun Ballet 𝄞 T-I-O-N 𝄞 Thanks to th 𝄞 The Corner 𝄞 The End? 𝄞 The Hound Song (Written by Tom Lehrer, arranged by Joe) 𝄞 the Menu Song (Written by Tom Lehrer, arranged by Joe) 𝄞 The Platter of Plums 𝄞 The Sweet Sweet Sway 𝄞 Vampire! 𝄞 Walk & Talk 𝄞 What did she say? 𝄞 Whimper and Whine 𝄞 Yards and Yards of Yellow Yarn 𝄞 Yield 𝄞 You 𝄞 You Need an L

Joe also did the music for The Great Santa Claus Switch, Halloween is Grinch Night, and Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure. He was also the subject/host of a documentary, America Is... [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]

apologies for any errors, oversights, or neurological tunnels leading to ancient unrecoverable memories
posted by not_on_display (43 comments total) 101 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy cow. Awesome! No time to check this out now but I sure will when I get home. Thanks from someone who was reared on both shows!
posted by blucevalo at 8:41 AM on September 30, 2009


Gadzooks. Thanks for the load of nostalgia!

One question: what characters were you using between The Electric Company songs? They come out like this.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:47 AM on September 30, 2009


flithy light thief: in my browser, they render as a treble clef.
posted by hippybear at 8:51 AM on September 30, 2009


If you only have time for one, I suggest N apostrophe T, one of my favorite songs ever.
posted by scrowdid at 8:56 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


You realize you must now change your username.
May I suggest not_not_on_display?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:57 AM on September 30, 2009


Raposo also wrote the themes to "Three's Company" and its first spinoff "The Ropers".
posted by inturnaround at 8:58 AM on September 30, 2009


Doin' the Pigeon. FREAKING BEST SONG EVER.
posted by contessa at 9:02 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have to say, not_on_display, I am speechless before your utter post epicosity. And I have you to blame for my lack of achievement for today and probably the next couple of days after this. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 9:10 AM on September 30, 2009


in my browser, they render as a treble clef.

Thanks!

posted by filthy light thief at 9:10 AM on September 30, 2009


I love Joe Raposo! Thanks for the enormous trove of classics. His page at the Muppet Wiki has screengrabs from many of his Sesame Street songs, which will surely stir people's memories. There are even, as unbelievable as this might seem, some which are not included here!
posted by jocelmeow at 9:15 AM on September 30, 2009


Holy cow. We sing the Batty Bat all the time in the ozzy household. One-two-three-count!
posted by uncleozzy at 9:17 AM on September 30, 2009


OMG I think I recognize every frickin' one of these song titles. Now "Slop the Hogs" is running through my head.
posted by Melismata at 9:23 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


whoa.
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 AM on September 30, 2009


"It's not easy being green.... but green is the color of spring....!" Love that song. Thanks for the excellent post, n_o_d!
posted by Lynsey at 9:28 AM on September 30, 2009


holy shit
posted by marxchivist at 9:31 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


in my browser, they render as a treble clef.

in my IE 7, FF, and Chrome, they don't render. WTF?
posted by taumeson at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2009


FYI-the DVD set of the Electric Company has a karaoke version of "Silent E" on disc 3. My 4 year old loves it, even if her reading skills have a hard time with the word "karaoke".
posted by TedW at 9:38 AM on September 30, 2009


Side. Bar. This.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:46 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just want to tell you how very much you've made my day[s] with this. Thank you!

in my browser, they render as a treble clef.

in my IE 7, FF, and Chrome, they don't render. WTF?

They don't render for me, either; I wonder if it is a Mac v. PC thing?
posted by alynnk at 10:04 AM on September 30, 2009


Amazing post. Thanks, n_o_d.
posted by box at 10:04 AM on September 30, 2009


in my browser, they render as a treble clef.

in my IE 7, FF, and Chrome, they don't render. WTF?

They don't render for me, either; I wonder if it is a Mac v. PC thing?


Could be. I'm running OS X 10.5.8 and using Safari. I just checked Firefox and they render correctly there, too.

posted by hippybear at 10:09 AM on September 30, 2009


It's like this post is dynamite, and I'm a worthless mule.
posted by the painkiller at 10:14 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, I've got bass clefs (FF2.0 on OSX.3.9 with UTF-8 encoding).

Less interestingly, I know what I'm doing for the next 45 minutes and it's not reading for class.
posted by knile at 10:16 AM on September 30, 2009


Re: Me Lost Me Cookie in the Mosh Pit
Sesame street sure has gotten more edgy of late.
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 10:21 AM on September 30, 2009


Re: Me Lost Me Cookie in the Mosh Pit
Sesame street sure has gotten more edgy of late.


You have no idea (preview: Cookie Mongoloid is Sesame Speed Metal)
posted by filthy light thief at 10:27 AM on September 30, 2009


Just freaking wonderful; thanks for this. But -- looks like Raposo did not compose Monster in the Mirror -- one of my fave Sesame Street songs. Celebrity version here. One great thing about having kids is getting to watch a lot of Sesame Street. I miss it... daughter all growed up now.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:33 AM on September 30, 2009


His first muppet movie was Hey Cinderella!, and he also worked on The Frog Prince, both of which are up on YouTube, in parts.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on September 30, 2009


Not_On_Display is just trying to impress his lover, not that theres anything wrong with that.
posted by wheelieman at 10:48 AM on September 30, 2009


Hate.
posted by keli at 10:56 AM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I never met a Joe Raposo song I didn't like. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this wonderful post.
posted by briank at 10:57 AM on September 30, 2009


Hey, she had no idea who Joe Raposo was (in name at least), even after she fixed all my borked links when I posted this. (Damn word processor had added smartquotes to my tags instead of regular quotes; it was an easy fix.)
posted by not_on_display at 10:58 AM on September 30, 2009


I can't express how awesome this is, but to add a little to it.

I can't find the original album version by Gordon and Susan, but here's Julie Andrews and Perry Como sucking just a little of the soul out of "Picture a World." (dailymotion)
posted by evilcolonel at 11:12 AM on September 30, 2009


filthy light thief: One question: what characters were you using between The Electric Company songs? They come out like this.

hippybear: flithy light thief: in my browser, they render as a treble clef.

taumeson: in my IE 7, FF, and Chrome, they don't render. WTF?

alynnk: They don't render for me, either; I wonder if it is a Mac v. PC thing?

hippybear: Could be. I'm running OS X 10.5.8 and using Safari. I just checked Firefox and they render correctly there, too.

knile: Interestingly, I've got bass clefs (FF2.0 on OSX.3.9 with UTF-8 encoding).

To clear up this slight distraction, and simplifying in the hope of making it clear to all: Unicode is a standard set of codes for pretty much every character in any language known to humankind. As such, it's a ridiculously large set of characters, and some ranges of characters are not commonly represented. not_on_display has used good ol' 1D11F between the Electric Company links; you may find a picture (which all of you can probably look at, since it's in a pdf) on the current code chart right here.

Apparently, Apple machines tend to have the musical-notation range, whereas PCs do not.

If you want to clear this problem up: go to this handy Unicode test page for musical notation. Do you see musical symbols on the left, or just a bunch of boxes with numbers? If it's all boxes with numbers, that means that your browser is probably recognizing the unicode character code just fine, but then doesn't have any little picture to show you when it does; in other words, you don't have any (unicode-friendly) fonts installed which have the clefs.

So: go over here and click on "CODE2001.ZIP." Once you've downloaded the file, unzip it (or double-click on it and drag the files out to somewhere else) and install the font. If you're on Vista (like me) that means doing the following:

1. Open the Control Panel.
2. Double-click 'Fonts.'
3. This will either bring up a wizard - in which case follow the instructions - or it will bring up a folder with all of your font files - in which case, drag the CODE2001.TTF file into the font folder, selecting 'OK' when asked if you really want to do that.
4. Reload the page, and presto - treble clef.

There are some other interesting music fonts over on Matthew Hindson's page. Oh, and I have no idea what the hell happened in knile's case; he must have a faulty font installed, as none of the past unicode standards had a bass clef in at 1D11F. [ 3.1, 5.1 ]


Now that that's taken care of: this an awesome post. It'll take me some time to go through - thanks!
posted by koeselitz at 11:18 AM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


ARGH. Scratch the number - it's actually 1D11E, not 1D11F—1D11F is the little-used Ottava Alta (or 'French Violin') Clef, which happens to look exactly the same and yet is (counter-intuitively) just a little lower, although it's actually two octave higher (hence the name). Everything else I said is true, though - carry on!
posted by koeselitz at 11:32 AM on September 30, 2009


Sidebar this post, indeed. For its conceptual goodness and ambitiousness alone! Great!
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:45 AM on September 30, 2009


I feel compelled to remind everyone in this thread of the ever-classic Sesame Street Fever album, which Raposo also worked on.
posted by hippybear at 12:35 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, I'm impressed!
posted by jessamyn at 1:55 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Lots of good stuff there, but you missed my all-time favorite! PUNCtuation! Punc-punc-punc-PUNCtuation!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:35 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Like Puff The Magic Dragon, I'm frolicking in the awesomeness.

Those are the words, right?
posted by Nick Verstayne at 4:02 PM on September 30, 2009


We sing the Batty Bat all the time in the ozzy household. One-two-three-count!
posted by uncleozzy at 9:17 AM on September 30
Dare I say...eponysterical?
posted by pxe2000 at 5:24 PM on September 30, 2009


Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo is an absolutely marvelous CD of sharply modern interpretations of Raposo songs by Yoon Sun Choi and Jacob Sacks. Check the samples here; it's probably my favorite vocal album of the last 10 years. Great post, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 8:01 PM on September 30, 2009


Can I add one righteous, delighteous and plain outttasighteous number? Sure I can. It features Denise Nickerson, and it's called The Sweet, Sweet Sway, which by rights should've been one of the biggest hits of 1973.
posted by droplet at 10:47 PM on September 30, 2009


I really like the ones that Joe sings himself (example); they seem even more intimate.
posted by not_on_display at 4:39 PM on October 1, 2009


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