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Written by Joe Raposo
Date 1970
Publisher Jonico Music, Inc.
Green Fox Music Inc.
First Episode 0087
for other uses, see Bein' Green (disambiguation)

"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.



Kermit's performance of the song on The Muppet Show episode 219.


Sesame Street Kermit Sings Being Green

Kermit's first performance of "Bein' Green" on the first season of Sesame Street.

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."[1] 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 one of Kermit's catchphrases. 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.[2]

Street Gang gives insight into the songwriting process:

Raposo's best-regarded song has an air of intrigue around it. This much we know: it began when Jon Stone approached Raposo with a request. "We need a song for the frog," he said. As he had many times, with many songwriters and many songs, Stone walked Raposo through the curriculum goal for the composition and made lyric suggestions. Only Stone and Raposo were in the room when the contemplative song for Kermit was mapped out, but members of Stone's family have insisted that it was presumptuous of Raposo to claim that he alone wrote "Bein' Green." The sheet music has always indicated "Words and Music by Joe Raposo," and thus the enormous royalties generated by the song have always belonged to him. Jon Stone's failure to call Raposo on claiming full credit kindled one of the worst marital disagreements Jon and Beverly Stone ever had.[3]


Image Year Description
1970 Sesame Street (First: Episode 0087)
By Kermit the Frog

Segment was taped on January 28, 1970 (script).

1970 The Sesame Street Book & Record
By Kermit the Frog
1971 Pure Goldie
By Kermit the Frog and Goldie Hawn
1971 Evening at Pops
By Kermit the Frog
1973 Julie on Sesame Street
By Kermit the Frog and Julie Andrews
1974 The Tonight Show
By Kermit the Frog
1974 What's My Line
By Kermit the Frog
1974 Sesame Street (First: Episode 0637)
By Kermit the Frog and Lena Horne
1974 ¡Sesame Mucho!
By José Feliciano
1975 Sesame Street (First: Episode 0722)
By Kermit the Frog (farm field background)
1975 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
By Dr. Teeth
1975 Cher
By Kermit the Frog and Ray Charles
1976 The Muppet Show episode 112
By Kermit the Frog
219 bein green
1977 The Muppet Show episode 219
By Kermit the Frog
1977 The Muppet Show album
By Kermit the Frog
1977 The Mike Douglas Show, October 31, 1977
By Dr. Teeth
1979 Sesame Disco! (disco version)
By Kermit the Frog
1980 Sesame Street episode 1440
By Big Bird
1979 The Tonight Show
By Kermit the Frog
1982 Today
By Kermit the Frog
1984 The Muppet Show On Tour
By Kermit the Frog
1986 Sesame Street episode 2159
Oscar sings a small bit of the song, with new lyrics, to himself during the first scene.
Cev88 bgk
1988 Royal Variety Performance
By Kermit the Frog
Bein Green Center for Puppetry Arts
1988 Center for Puppetry Arts (a brief segment is shown in State of the Arts)
By Kermit the Frog
1989 From the Heart... The First International Very Special Arts Festival
By Kermit the Frog with "Kerm-2"
1989 Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting
By Ray Charles with the monsters
1990 Earth Day 1990 PSA
By Kermit the Frog
1990 Here Come the Muppets
By Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, and Bean Bunny
1990 Jim Henson's Memorial at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
By Big Bird
1991 Bob's Favorite Street Songs
By Bob McGrath
1993 Ol' Brown Ears is Back
By Rowlf the Dog
1994 Kermit Unpigged
By Don Henley and Kermit the Frog
1996 The Rosie O'Donnell Show (September 6, 1996)
By Kermit the Frog
1997 Muppets Tonight episode 205
By Don Rickles
1998 The Playground
By Tony Bennett with commentary by Kermit the Frog
2000 Evening at Pops
By Alan Muraoka (excerpt)
Kermitand calvinray
2001 The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon
By Kermit the Frog and Calvin Ray Johnson
2001 The Muppet Show Live
By Kermit the Frog
Martha Byrne
2005 The Tony Danza Show
By Kermit to Martha Byrne
2005 Sesame Street Episode 4105
By Oscar the Grouch (with altered Grouchy lyrics by Christine Ferraro)
2005 It's Not Easy Being Green audio book
As a spoken word read by Whoopi Goldberg
2006 Ford Escape Hybrid commercial
By Kermit the Frog
2006 Hollywood Bowl "Fireworks Finale"
By Kermit the Frog
2006 Martha (October 5, 2006)
By Kermit the Frog
2007 Sunday NFL Countdown
By Kermit the Frog
2009 Being Green
By Elmo
2009 Plaza Sésamo
In Spanish by Abelardo Montoya as "Ser Verde"
2012 Die Muppets promotion
By Kermit the Frog and Marsimoto
2012 Jim Henson's Musical World
By Kermit the Frog
2012 The Voice
By Kermit the Frog and Cee Lo Green
2014 Drama League of New York
By Abby Cadabby and Telly Monster as "It’s Not Easy Being Neil"
2014 The Tonight Show
By Kermit the Frog and Jimmy Fallon
2016 The Muppets episode "Because... Love"
Kermit the Frog sings along to his own performance of the song (the 1975 Sesame Street recording by Jim Henson) while driving in his car.
2018 The Jim Henson Retrospectacle Live in Concert
By Kermit the Frog
Kermit Elvis Costello 50th Bein Green
2019 Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Kermit the Frog and Elvis Costello






  • Being Green was an illustrated book which used the song's lyrics, but featured a lizard-like green creature instead of Kermit.

Video releases[]


Sesame Street[]

  • Original Version:
  • 1975 version:
  • Oscar the Grouch version:

The Muppet Show[]

Online releases[]

Sesame Street[]


Sesame Street[]




"Kodachrome" music video

The catchphrase "It's not easy being green" has been referenced many times, both by the Muppets and by others.

  • On The Electric Company, the Short Circus perform the song, "Why", a lyrical list of questions about the world. Included is: "Why ain't it easy being green?" (The song appears on the penultimate episode of The Best of the Electric Company Vol. 1 DVD set.)
  • In a 1976 appearance on The Mike Douglas Show, when Mike Douglas mentions that green is a good color, Kermit comments that it's not easy being green, leading to a brief discussion of the song.
  • The 1977 book, Grover's Favorite Color, shows Grover near a pond, discussing the color green. He mentions something that's green is a "certain frog, who shall remain nameless." From the reeds of the pond, an unseen character remarks, "It isn't easy being green."
  • The green section of 1978's Big Bird's Colors includes Oscar stating "it's not easy being green."
  • Impressed with Grover's ability to touch his nose with his toes in a 1982 Sesame Street sketch, Kermit attempts the same, falling in the process. Before helping him up, Grover reminds the viewer, "Somedays, it is not easy being green."
  • Participating in a puppet show on The Saturday Show in 1984, Kermit says he likes Ireland because of the color green. His companion responds, "it's not easy being green."
  • A 1979 Sesame Street segment features Kermit auditioning wolves for the role of The Big Bad Wolf. After Kermit turns down a medium-sized wolf, that wolf thinks it's because he is green, saying that "it's not easy being green." Kermit then says that he's noticed that.
  • In the Sesame Street song, "I'm Between" from 1979, Tony, squashed between two monsters, sings this lyric: "It's easier by far being green than being between."
  • In The Muppets at Walt Disney World, Kermit performs the first line of "Bein' Green" on his banjo, but is cut off by groans from the other Muppets. Rizzo complains "Give it a rest, will ya?", but Kermit defends the song as "a swamp classic."
  • When Kermit passes through a monitor that turns him black-and-white in The Muppet CD-ROM: Muppets Inside, Fozzie says, "It doesn't surprise me. You always said it's not easy being green."
  • In Episode 3740 of Sesame Street, Reporter Kermit discusses his makeup with somebody off-camera. He wonders if he looks too green and begins to recite the opening lyric when he notices he's broadcasting.
  • When Kermit guest starred on Deal or No Deal in 2007, he said that "it's not easy getting green."
  • In Episode 4232 of Sesame Street, in the midst of a vegetable protest, an angry stalk of broccoli yells out "It ain't easy bein' green!"
  • In the "Kermit's Party" short "Gonzo's Stunt Spectacular!," Kermit, covered with yellow finger paint from Gonzo's failed balancing act, remarks, "It's not that easy being clean."
  • In a Crash Course video, "Intro to Economics: Crash Course Econ #1", Kermit tells the hosts that it's okay if they're not green, that it's not easy being green, and tells them that he could sing a song about it, only to be stopped because, as they say, they couldn't afford the licensing for the song.
  • Kermit lists "Bein' Green" as his favorite song in the 2002 special I Love Muppets.
  • In the Amphibia episode "Swamp and Sensibility," Crumpet the Frog (voiced by Kermit himself) tells the players to keep their playing "cool and friendly-like."


  1. "Beatles and Beethoven, Move on Over: The Seventies Sounds is Sesame Street." CTW Press Release. January 10, 1971
  2. Sidney Herald "Going green: Ethanol may be part of country’s path for energy independence" by Linsey Bright, 8/12/08
  3. Street Gang page 256