Friday, October 19, 2012

Play a Song

4. (tie) Sing - Joe Raposo

4. (tie) Somebody Come and Play - Joe Raposo

This is what childhood sounds like.

Joe Raposo is the man who made Sesame Street what it was.  As the show's main composer, he produced countless memorable songs that defined the show.  "Bein' Green."  "C is for Cookie."  The show's theme song.  Raposo was not just a master.  He was a god among men.

Look at that suave gentleman.

These two songs best represent that crucial element that Raposo brought to the series.  He was able to tap into the experience of being a child and form a connection that could last your whole life long.  Music is one of man's greatest inventions, and in "Sing," Raposo reminds the children of the world that it doesn't matter who you are, you can make music.

In ancient times, singing was synonymous with storytelling.  In order to keep stories alive through oral tradition, they had to be constructed as songs, lyrical and rhythmic compositions that lent themselves to easier memorization.  If you wanted something to last forever, it had to be immortalized in song.  Raposo's lyrics instruct was to "sing," no matter what.  This isn't just about creating.  It's about leaving a lasting impact on the world.

Lil' Raposo

With "Somebody Come and Play," Raposo captured the boundless spirit of a child.  Adults, having grown weary and accustomed to the world around them, are more likely to forego playtime and imagination.  But children will stop at nothing.  They need to play in order to learn and grow.

Playing and singing.  Two childhood pastimes.  Although many people have sung these songs over the history of the show, the recorded versions are always by "The Kids," a group of nameless children who visited the set of Sesame Street.  Having genuine children on the show, not professional actors or singers, kept the show magical.  These children were growing up in a world of their own.

And the world is still their own.  Everyone you meet is just a former child.  Everyone can come out and play.  Everyone can sing.  There's no reason to stop.

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