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Written by Jeff Moss
Date 1978
Publisher Festival Attractions Inc.
Backfin Music Company
First Episode 1910

Sesame Street I Don't Want to Live on the Moon

Ernie sings "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon."

"I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" is a Sesame Street song sung by Ernie, who expresses his desire to visit the moon someday, but ultimately decides he doesn't want to live there. He also sings about wanting to travel under the sea and to a few other places, as long as he is able to return home to those he loves.

Originally recorded for the 1980 album The People in Your Neighborhood, the song was later made into an insert during season 15 (taped on November 10, 1983, and directed by Jon Stone).[1] A new version was shot in season 25 as a duet between Ernie and Aaron Neville. Jim Henson's original vocal recording was mixed with Neville's recording, giving the impression that Jim Henson was still performing three years after he died. This version was also directed by Jon Stone[2] and includes three clips from the original. (First: Episode 3242)

The original version was a rare instance where Ernie is seen in full-body puppet form. It took three puppeteers to perform Ernie: Henson performed Ernie's head and left hand, while another puppeteer worked Ernie's right hand, and another puppeteer operated Ernie's feet. This example of bunraku-style puppetry is one of the frequent uses of the chroma key technique. The effect was recreated for a live performance of the song for A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration at Lincoln Center, where Ernie dances and lounges on the moon in the final verse.

The song was also released as a book, I Don't Want to Live on the Moon, in 2001.


The People in Your Neighborhood

Sung by Ernie. This original audio recording features a spoken introduction and portions of an alternate vocal take.

Sesame Street (First: Episode 1910)

Sung by Ernie.

Sesame Street (First: Episode 3242)

Sung by Ernie and Aaron Neville, interspersed with clips from the original segment.


Shawn Colvin and Ernie perform a soft folk cover of the song. A portion of Ernie's vocals were removed in the album release.

Sesame Street - Episode 4031

Sung by Bob, Rosita, and Telly Monster, on the steps of 123 Sesame Street. This version uses the original backing track, omitting the second and much of the final verse.

Bob McGarth singing I don't want to live on the moon.jpg
Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary Book Panel Discussion

Bob McGrath sang the song, with Christopher Cerf on piano, for an impromptu concert during a panel at the Brooklyn Public Library on November 21, 2009.

Plaza Sésamo

Sung by Barón Púrpura.

Iftah Ya Simsim (2015 revival)

A rewritten version of the song is performed as a lullaby by Shams on guitar, backed by Gargur (Grover) on a drum.

Love to Learn video

A country pop version performed by Ernie with Lennon & Maisy was released online in October 2016 as a part of the "Love to Learn" campaign. The video was directed by Marilyn Agrelo, and features animation by Maureen Boyle and produced by Mochimochi Land.

YouTube video

An animated lyric video, using the original segment audio, was published on the Sesame Street YouTube channel in March 2019. The video features animated cameos by Jim Henson as mission control, Slimey in a rocket ship, and the Martians in a shaky spacecraft.

A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration

A new arrangement by Wynton Marsalis was performed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and sung by Ernie, Abby Cadabby, and Big Bird.

The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo episode 107

Sung by Dan + Shay

The song has also been performed in the Sesame Street Live shows Around the World, 1-2-3 Imagine!, and Super Grover! Ready for Action (combined with "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in the latter).



See also