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Muppet

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

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Written by  Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher
Music by 
Lyrics by 
Date  1979
Source 
Publisher  Welbeck Music Corporation and Muppet Music Inc. (renewed); Fuzzy Muppet Songs

"The Rainbow Connection" was written for The Muppet Movie and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song in 1979. It is sung by Kermit as the movie's opening number and reprised by the whole cast of Muppets at the end of the movie. The single of this song reached #25 on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart in 1979.

When Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher started work on their songs for The Muppet Movie, they had a discussion about a film they both loved, Walt Disney's adaptation of Pinocchio. At the beginning of Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket sings "When You Wish Upon a Star," which the pair felt set the mood for the whole picture. This was the inspiration to write something very special for Kermit as well. [1]

Although they had nearly completed the song, they had difficulty coming up with a title until a friend of Williams asked them "What's the problem? You having difficulty finding that rainbow connection between people and their dreams?" They knew at once that they had their title. [2]

In the Music, Mayhem and More! CD booklet, Paul Williams spoke about "The Rainbow Connection":

It's one of two favorite songs I've written in my life, and oddly, they're both from The Muppet Movie. (The other is "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday.") When we started working on the film, Kenny and I and Jim and Jerry Juhl all agreed that we had to establish Kermit's soul from the very beginning. And to do that, he has to ponder some big questions. Kenny and I began to write this song -- the song addresses that inner voice that tells Kermit he can try to do these big things. Then Jerry Juhl did this great thing in the script at the end, when the stage explodes and the end of the rainbow appears -- the actual “rainbow connection.” That's the proof of the whole Muppet philosophy.

Contents

Muppet performances

The cast of The Muppet Movie sing "The Rainbow Connection" as part of the finale.

Non-Muppet performances

"The Rainbow Connection" is a main focus in this poster by Richard Amsel for The Muppet Movie.
  • The Carpenters recorded the song in 1980, but it wasn't released until 2004
  • Kenny Loggins on his Return to Pooh Corner album (1994)
  • Paul Williams, as Bernard Weeden, at Ginny's funeral in the third season Picket Fences episode "Cold Spell."
  • Vera Lynn on her Thank You For The Music album (1997)
  • Livingston Taylor, as heard over the end credits for an episode of National Arts (1997)
  • Less Than Jake on Muppets (1997)
  • Vonda Shepard, in the second season Ally McBeal episode "Angels and Blimps" (1999)
  • Willie Nelson on his Rainbow Connection album (2001)
  • Sarah McLachlan on the For the Kids album (2002).
  • Justin Timberlake and "Kermit" (Will Forte) on Saturday Night Live (2003)
  • The Dixie Chicks on the album Mary Had a Little Amp (2004)
  • Jason Mraz performs the song on For the Kids Too (2004)
  • Willie Nelson and Paul Williams on the dual-disc DVD I'm Going Back There Someday (2005)
  • John Michael Higgins & His Symphony of Guys, a cappella version arranged by John Michael Higgins as heard during the ending credits for The Break-Up (2006)
  • Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) in the third season The Office episode "The Convict" (2006)
  • Paul Williams on the Nickelodeon series, "Yo Gabba Gabba!" (2008)
  • Jane Monheit recorded the song for her album The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me (2009)

Audio releases

Publications

The Rainbow Connection illustration by Norman Green

Merchandise

References

"The Rainbow Connection" has been referenced many times, both by Muppets and others:

  • The Muppets at Walt Disney World - Mickey Mouse and Kermit "argue philosophy." Kermit's philosophy is "Someday you'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me."
  • Muppets Tonight, Episode 107 - When Bobo puts the mad bomber on hold, the song that plays is "The Rainbow Connection."
  • Family Guy - In the episode "Fifteen Minutes of Shame," Peter tries to get attention on the Griffins' reality show with a puppet. When the camera starts to pan away from Peter to something more interesting, Peter tries to regain his attention saying, "She's gonna sing Rainbow Connection!"
  • It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie - Kermit passes by a statue erected in his honor, the caption of which reads "For the lovers, the dreamers, and you."
  • Wonderfalls - In the episode "Muffin Buffalo," lead character Jaye is playing Pictionary with her family and her friend Pat. While Jaye's sister draws frantically, Pat shouts out guesses as to what she's drawing: "It's a frog! He's singing! 'Rainbow Connection!'"
  • Nightwing comic book, #135 - Vigilante references "The Rainbow Connection."
  • Saturday Night Live - In a sketch called "Rowlf and the Swedish Chef", Rowlf, as played by Seth Rogen, offers to play "Rainbow Connection."
  • Elmo's World: Skin - At the end, a chameleon asks Elmo if he can play "Rainbow Connection" on his piano.
  • InFANity - Jason Mraz mentions that The Muppet Movie was the first movie he saw and he and Elmo sing the beginning of "The Rainbow Connection."

Trivia

  • On March 20, 1996, The Rainbow Connection was the basis of a bizarre crime in Wanganui, New Zealand. A twenty-one-year-old overly enthusiastic Muppet fan took a radio station manager hostage claiming to have a bomb and demanded to hear the song played nonstop on the air for the next twelve hours. Several buildings were evacuated due to the threat. When it was learned that the man had no bomb, police stormed the station and arrested him. [4]

Sources

  1. The Muppets Go Hollywood
  2. The Muppets Go Hollywood
  3. Hollywood Honcho Bernie Brillstein Remembered
  4. CNN report

This article uses material from the "The Rainbow Connection" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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