It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green

Very soon, we’ll start counting down the days by using each day to reveal a different hero in the book. But there’s one that’s for sure out there already: Jim Henson. Now let me be clear. I love Henson. I love Kermit. I love all the Muppets (though I love the new ones like Baby Bear and his lisp a whole lot less). But I also love the song It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green. And so…on the Jim Henson page in the book, we wanted to use a these lyrics:

But green’s the color of spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

Perfect, right?

One problem: you need the rights. And so we set off on a ridiculously long quest to get said rights. Went through Disney, Sesame Street, lawyers, and eventually, the cream of the crop: a lawyer from Sesame Street, who directed us to the true writer of the song. It wasn’t Jim Henson. It was a man named Joe Raposo. He passed away years ago, and Joe’s son — Nick — now controls the rights.

So I called Nick. I told him Henson was one of my heroes. I told him I loved what his father wrote. I asked him if we could print those four lines. And he told me how much he loves books and publishing…and yes, he’d be honored to let us use them.

Let me be clear for the second time: Nick is a hero. You may never hear of him. You don’t know he’s out there. You never knew his dad was the real writer of those words.

But you do now. And he’s the reason those sentiments get shared with the world.

And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

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