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Written by Joe Raposo
Date 1971
Publisher Jonico Music, Inc.

"Sing" is a Sesame Street song first performed in Season 2 with English and Spanish lyrics as "Sing"/"Canta".

It has since been sung a number of times on the show, with many different singers, sometimes with just the English lyrics, and (on a couple occasions) in English and American Sign Language.

Like "Bein' Green," it too has become an American standard, having been performed by a number of pop artists (sometimes credited as "Sing a Song").

Sesame Street

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Bob and Miguel meet on the street and both mention that they were going to sing a song. Miguel explains that the Spanish word for sing is canta. Bob proposes that they sing the same song in English and Spanish. Together, they sing "Sing"/"Canta." (First: Episode 0218)
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Susan greets Miguel in the arbor and asks about that song she heard him and Bob sing together a couple of weeks ago. She says that Bob taught her the English part and she'd love to learn the Spanish part. Together, they sing "Sing"/"Canta". (First: Episode 0273)
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Bob and Rafael in English and Spanish. (First: Episode 0386)
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David and Luis in English and Spanish. (First: Episode 0425)
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Bob and Luis sit with the kids in the arbor for a night time rendition of "Sing/Canta" for vocals and guitar. (First: Episode 0493)
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Bob and Luis on the stoop with the kids, with Oscar the Grouch inserting "blah-blah" instead of "la-la." (First: Episode 0543)
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Bob and Luis (on guitar) in English and Spanish with Susan and the kids as backup. (First: Episode 0655)
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Bert leads the cast in a rendition of "Sing" from his bathtub. (First: Episode 0900)
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Lily Tomlin in English and American Sign Language with two children on the steps of 123 Sesame Street. (First: Episode 0901)
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Olivia and Linda in English and American Sign Language. (First: Episode 1330)
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In his room, Bob gives the Two-Headed Monster a singing lesson: singing "Sing." (First: Episode 1736)
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Telly Monster and Mr. Ortiz (First: Episode 1783)
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Elmo, Bob, and the kids to Wanda Cousteau. (First: Episode 3128)
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Luis and Rosita (First: Episode 3794)
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Suzie Kabloozie (First: Episode 3794)
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Big Bird, Gordon, Gabi, her friends, Alan, Gina, and Zoe. (First: Episode 3802)
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The Dingers held a ding-a-long, and led the cast into singing a variation, "Ding a Song". (First: Episode 3824)
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Nathan Lane with the Oinker Sisters. (First: Episode 3830)
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Big Bird, Bolo, Telly, Rosita, Maria, and The Birdketeers. (First: Episode 3839)
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Gloria Estefan with Rosita, alternating between English and Spanish lyrics. (First: Episode 3841)
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Denyce Graves and penguins. (First: Episode 3848)
Celebrity montage featuring (1) Patti LaBelle, Elmo and the Kids; (2) Mr. Noodle and Elmo; (3) Gloria Estefan and Rosita; (4) Patti LaBelle and Elmo; (5) Nathan Lane and the Oinker Sisters; (6) Denyce Graves; (7) Bela Fleck and chickens; (8) Katie Couric, Elmo and Baby Bear; (9) Trisha Yearwood and the Martians; (10) Ben Stiller and Telly; (11) Natalie Merchant and Prairie Dawn; (12) Vanessa Williams and sheep; (13) R.E.M. and Telly; (14) Garth Brooks and Wolfgang; (15) Doug E. Doug, Telly, Baby Bear, Papa Bear and Anything Muppets; (16) Isaac Stern and Elmo; (17) Maya Angelou, Grover and Herry Monster; (18) Denyce Graves and penguins; (19) Fran Drescher and Baby Natasha; (20) Noah Wyle and Big Bird; (21) Conan O'Brien, Herry, Telly and monsters; (22) Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis with Elmo and Telly; (23) Terrell Davis with Telly and a Muppet football; (24) Rosemary Clooney and Herry. (First: Episode 3851)
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Cab Callowmouse (First: Episode 3892)
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Bob and Telly. (First: Episode 3949)
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A sand animated segment of several animals with vocals by Stephanie D'Abruzzo. (First: Episode 3981)
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Zoe, Rosita, and Lulu. (First: Episode 3983)
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Alan, Big Bird, Lulu and the kids. (First: Episode 3991)
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Dixie Chicks and a trio of Muppet chickens. (First: Episode 3999)
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The song appears throughout the street plot of Episode 4046. Bob sings a verse during "Something in the Air," the sheep bleat the song throughout and Rosita hums the song to herself when she first appears.
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Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus, and The Kids. (First: Episode 4053)
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Miles (First: Episode 4075)
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Miles and Gabi. (First: Episode 4084)
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Charlie Puth with Grover, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Elmo. (First: Episode 5005)

Specials and appearances

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Julie Andrews and Perry Como in Julie on Sesame Street. (1973)
Big Bird exits to an instrumental version of the song in Bob Hope's World of Comedy. (1976)
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Big Bird at the World Puppetry Festival. (1980)
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The song is used in sections during the Sesame Street cast's performance at the Daytime Emmy Awards. (1982)
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Bob and Luis in Magic on Sesame Street. (1988)
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The entire cast in Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting. (1989)
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A montage with (1) Patti LaBelle and (2) The Abyssinian Baptist Church Chancel Choir, (3) Barbara Cook, (4) The Kids, (5) Big Bird, (6) Elmo, (7) Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis, (8) Forgetful Jones, (9) Count von Count, (10) Grover, (11) Wolfgang, (12) Maria and Luis, (13) Barbara Bush, (14) Cookie Monster, (15) Max Roach, (16) Kathie Lee Gifford, (17) Isaac Stern, (18) Two-Headed Monster, (19) Candice Bergen, (20) Savion, (21) Glenn Close on the special Sing! Sesame Street Remembers Joe Raposo and His Music. (1990)
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A brief instrumental version accompanied the Sesame Songs Home Video opening title card. (1990)
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Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the kids, and the cast in Sesame Street's 25th Birthday: A Musical Celebration. (1993)
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The cast and celebrity guests (mixed with "Our Favorite Street") in Stars and Street Forever. (1994)
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Big Bird and Snuffy in Big Bird Sings! (1995)
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Grover, Ernie, Elmo and Cookie Monster in Music Maker (1999)
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Elmo and the Pesties sing to Grizzy in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland: Sing and Play. (1999)
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School kids in Elmo's World: Singing. (2000)
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Rosita and Maria on Evening at Pops. (2001)
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A montage with (1) Vanessa Williams and sheep; (2) Patti LaBelle and Elmo; (3) Dixie Chicks and chickens; (4) Conan O'Brien with Herry Monster, Telly and monsters; (5) Nathan Lane and the Oinker Sisters; (6) Gloria Estefan and Rosita; (7) Denyce Graves and penguins; (8) Fran Drescher and Baby Natasha; (9) Liam Neeson and Ernie with some kids; (10) Katie Couric, Baby Bear and Elmo; (11) Ben Stiller and Telly; (12) Maya Angelou, Grover and Herry; (13) Doug E. Doug, Baby Bear, Telly, Papa Bear and Anything Muppets; (14) R.E.M. and Telly; (15) Peter Jennings and Prairie Dawn; (16) Mr. Noodle and Elmo on What's the Name of That Song? (2004)
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Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Grover, Rosita, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo and The Count, with Al Roker, Alex Trebek, Jane Pauley, Paige Davis, Lorenzo Lamas, Meredith Vieira, Emeril Lagasse and Drake Hogestyn at the 2004 Daytime Emmy Awards.
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Alan Muraoka, Alison Bartlett, Emilio Delgado, Bob McGrath, Fran Brill with Zoe, Kevin Clash with Elmo, Caroll Spinney with Oscar the Grouch, Roscoe Orman, and Sonia Manzano at the Christopher Awards. (2009)
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At the 2009 Daytime Emmy Awards, the cast of Sesame Street, celebrating their 40th anniversary, sang a medley of songs, including "Sing."
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Rosita and Natasha Bedingfield at A Capitol Fourth. (2009)
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Lucy Schwartz and Elmo at a screening of Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. (2011)
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Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and Gordon at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll.
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Annual Sesame Workshop Benefit Gala (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017)
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Gordon, Elmo and Darth Chicken at New York Comic Con. (2012)
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Santino Fontana, Ernie, Bert, Rosita, Big Bird, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and a child chorus in Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. (2014)
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Billy Barkhurst (with Ernie), Eric Jacobson (with Bert), David Rudman (with Cookie Monster), Suki Lopez, Ryan Dillon (with Elmo), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (with Abby), Carmen Osbahr (with Rosita), and Matt Vogel (with the Count) at the HBO TCA party. (2016)
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Cheryl Henson, Alan Muraoka, Jennifer Barnhart (with Zoe), Brian Henson (with a Jim Henson Anything Muppet), Emilio Delgado, Matt Vogel (with the Count), Big Bird, David Rudman (with Cookie Monster), Eric Jacobson (with Oscar), Jack McBrayer, Jason Mraz, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (with Abby Cadabby) Bobby Moynihan, Ryan Dillon (with Elmo), Drew Massey (with a penguin), Colleen Smith (with a penguin), Bill Barretta (with a penguin), and Joey Mazzarino (with Bozo) at Puppets for Puppetry. (2018)
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"The Humans of Sesame Street" at Museum of the Moving Image. (2015)
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Bret McKenzie, Rosita, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, and Count von Count at The Jim Henson Retrospectacle Live in Concert. (2018)
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The cast in multiple Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parades. In 2009, it was incorporated in a medley with "What Makes Music?"
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In several Sesame Street Live shows including A Sesame Street Mystery: The Case of the Missing Rara Avis, Big Bird's Super Spectacular Totally Amateur Show, Big Bird and the ABCs, and Elmo's Coloring Book.
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Emilio Delgado, Matt Vogel (with the Count), Ryan Dillon (with Elmo), John Kennedy (with The Amazing Mumford), Jennifer Barnhart (with Zoe), Peter Linz (with Ernie), Tyler Bunch (with Louie), Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (with Abby), Alan Muraoka, Desiree Casado, Loretta Long, Frankie Cordero (with Rudy), Pam Arciero (with Grundgetta), Stacey Gordon (with Julia), Bryant Young, Lara MacLean (with Grover), Alison Bartlett, Sonia Manzano, Martin P. Robinson (with Telly), Fran Brill, Stephanie D'Abruzzo (with Prairie Dawn), Carmen Osbahr (with Rosita), Suki Lopez, David Rudman (with Cookie Monster), Eric Jacobson (with Oscar), and Big Bird at Caroll Spinney's retirement party.
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Abby, Elmo, Alan, and a group of kids at the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards.
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Big Bird, Abby, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, and Rosita on Tiny Desk Concerts.
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Elmo, Bert, Ernie, Rosita, Big Bird, Abby, and Hoots at A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration.
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The Sesame Street cast with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Patti LaBelle, Itzhak Perlman, and Whoopi Goldberg in Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration.
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Abby and Cookie Monster at the Sesame Street Sing-Along.
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Elmo, Abby, Grover, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Bert, Thomas Rhett, Cedric the Entertainer, Lucy Liu, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the Kennedy Center Honors.
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Elmo, Louie, Abby, Rosita, Grover, Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, Rudy, Prairie Dawn, Zoe, the Count, Big Bird, Telly, Mae, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne Hathaway, Alan, and Nina in Elmo's Playdate.

International

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On Peter Alexander präsentiert Spezialitäten Show #10 in 1975, sung by Peter Alexander, with Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Bert, and Kermit the Frog. (YouTube)
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Lidia Avila in Episodio 804 of Plaza Sésamo.
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A German version has been sung for Sesamstrasse as part of the international co-production's 40th anniversary live tour 40 Jahre Sesamstrasse - Die Geburtstags-Show. (YouTube)

The Muppets

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Lena Horne with the Muppets in The Muppet Show episode 111.
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Kermit and Mike Douglas in a 1977 appearance on The Mike Douglas Show.
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Backstage at The Muppet Theatre, the Muppets perform the song with Rowlf at the piano while Kermit keeps Animal in beat on the drums in Because We Care.
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Tony Clifton as part of a medley in The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show.
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An instrumental version of the song accompanies a portion of Harry Belafonte's speech in The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson.

Non-Muppet performances

  • Arte Johnson leads a chorus of children in performing the song in the special Robert Young with the Young. (1973)
  • The Carpenters on their album Now & Then. The single reached #3 on the Billboard Top 100.[1] (1973)
  • Johnny Mathis on his album Killing Me Softly with Her Song. (1973)
  • Ray Conniff on his album You Are the Sunshine of My Life. (1973)
  • Linnea Reese (Lily Tomlin) sang and signed the song to her deaf children in the film Nashville. (1975)
  • Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire on the album A Couple of Song and Dance Men. (1975)
  • The cast of Zoom on their album Zoom Tunes (Songs From The Three-Time Emmy Award-Winning Children's TV Show). Track is listed as "Sing a Song" and performed with slightly altered lyrics. (1977)
  • Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops on the album Young at Heart. (1992)
  • Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) and the cast in the That '70s Show episode "That '70s Musical". (April 2002)
  • Wing Han Tsang in the South Park episode "Wing". (March 2005)
  • Kristin Chenoweth (with new seasonal lyrics) on her album A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas. (2008)
  • Pink Martini with Emilio Delgado on their album Splendor in the Grass. (2009)
  • Jane Monheit included the song on her album The Heart of the Matter. (2013)
  • Timmy Cleary (Jack Gore) in the pilot episode of The Kids Are Alright. (2018)

Videos

Releases

Big Bird and friends perform "Sing", in honor of the song's composer Joe Raposo, as seen on the cover of a 1992 tribute album.

"Sing", illustration by Joe Mathieu.

Audio
  • The Best of Elmo
    (1997, Elmo, Big Bird, Telly, Hoots the Owl, Grover and the Kids)
Video
Publications
Online

Sources

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