"Bein' Green," originally titled "Green," is one of Kermit the Frog's best-known songs. It was written in 1970 by Joe Raposo for the first season of Sesame Street, and has since become an American standard.
In the song, Kermit expresses his ambivalence about his color, noting that green "blends in with so many other ordinary things" and wishing that he were some other color instead. During the bridge, Kermit realizes that there are some powerful associations with the color – "green can be big, like a mountain, or important, like a river, or tall like a tree." In the end, he decides that he's happy to be green – "it's beautiful, and I think it's what I want to be."
The song was described in a Children's Television Workshop press release as "a frog's poignant realization of his own dignity and worth." The song has been viewed as a powerful message about race: music journalist Danyel Smith recalls in The Greatest TV Moments: Sesame Street Music A-Z that her mother said to imagine that instead of saying "green," they said "black."
Kermit would return to the song twice more on Sesame Street, including as a duet with Lena Horne, then performances on The Muppet Show in episodes 112 and 219, where the song was used to lift Kermit up from a depressed state.
The song appeared on The Sesame Street Book & Record and has been recorded numerous times since, both by Jim Henson and Steve Whitmire as Kermit, as well as by musicians like Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra, demonstrating the song's universal themes. "Bein' Green" is not just for frogs.
"It's not easy being green," a paraphrased lyric from the song, has become Kermit's catchphrase. In a twist on the line, when Kermit filmed a commercial for the Ford Escape Hybrid he remarked upon seeing the environmentally friendly vehicle, "I guess sometimes it is easy being green." Media outlets have also used this phrase to associate with the environmental movement.
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