So here we are.
I am a lucky girl. I got to spend the other day hanging out with Sesame Street’s Bob McGrath at a special screening that my husband presented at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. The screening was a compilation of classic musical numbers from the show, and it was fun to watch Bob (as well as composer Chris Cerf, another guest that day) react to clips he hadn’t seen in years. Granted, I’ve worked with both Bob and Chris for a long time, but not that often as of late (for various reasons), and so it’s always good to see them.
The best part was during People in Your Neighborhood, when I heard this very tiny voice a few rows behind me singing along. I turned around and saw a wee small three year-old, beaming as she sang the only words she could get out: “who... pee-pa... neigh-hood...”
It was extra moving and adorable because I can’t remember the last time we performed that song on the show, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in her lifetime. She must have been exposed to it through the Sesame Street: Old School DVDs or the early episodes recently made available on iTunes, or maybe through YouTube clips. That’s dedicated parenting... making the extra effort to see that your young one gets the Sesame Street of both yesterday and today so that he/she can also learn about rotary phones and typewriters.
And the extra-extra moving and adorable part was that she reminded me of me, who at the tender age of three, also went to see Bob live and in person at one of his concerts. I imagine that the “who... pee-pa... neigh-hood...” I belted from my seat was probably more boisterous than hers, despite the fact that after the show, when I met Bob, I was so shy I couldn’t even look at him. Oh, the irony.
Speaking of irony, my husband finds the fact that People in Your Neighborhood hasn’t been performed lately to be ironic, because there are so many new jobs to learn about that didn’t exist when the song was written. The IT guy, the outsourced customer service rep, the robo-signer, the Ice Road Trucker... these are all people in your neighborhood. Well, maybe not your neighborhood. More like your office or cable channel. You can’t take songs like this too literally. There are very few firemen you meet when you’re walking down the street each day, no matter what the lyrics say.
Although sometimes the devil is in the details. Just the other day I was feeling crappy, and during a chat with my sister, she threw me a pep-up phrase from the song Just One Person, from the musical Snoopy. It’s even better known as a song that Bernadette Peters sang on The Muppet Show. Anyway, the last verse goes like this:
And when all those people believe in you
Deep enough and strong enough believe in you
Hard enough and long enough
It stands to reason
You yourself would start to see what everybody sees in you
And maybe even you can believe in you too.
I know the man who wrote this lovely song. His name is Larry Grossman, who’s a peach of a guy with incredible talent, and amazing stories from his long, storied career as a composer and music consultant/supervisor/director. But when my sister started in with the song, I peevishly said, “you know what? I hate to say it, but that song is a lie. It’s a lie, I tells ya.”
My sister countered, “No, it’s not.”
I was stubborn. “How is it not a lie?”
“It says maybe even you. It’s not a guarantee.”
Hmmm... how very true. You know what else is true?
A blogger is a person in your neighborhood.
In your neighborhood
In your neighborhood - oh
A blogger is a person in your neighborhood
A person that you meet each day
Oh, a blogger writes a lot of cra-ap
From a small computer on her la-ap
She’s posting what amuses her
For no one in partic-u-lar
Oh, who am I kidding? Maybe kids need to learn about rotary phones and typewriters, but they don’t need to learn about bloggers from TV. They already learn that from their mommies.
Yes indeed. Welcome to me.