The Rainbow Connection


The Rainbow Connection

"The Rainbow Connection" is a popular song written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher and originally performed by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) in "The Muppet Movie" in 1979. By extension, as evidenced in the TV special, "The Muppets at Walt Disney World", the song has come to epitomize the ideals and artistic spirit of Henson and his company as much as "When You Wish Upon a Star" represents Walt Disney and his company.

It has been covered by artists such as Leftöver Crack, Sarah McLachlan, DAT Politics, Aaron Lewis, Kenny Loggins, The Dixie Chicks, Justin Timberlake, The Carpenters, Kiki and Herb, Jason Mraz, The Pussycat Dolls, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Tay Zonday, Jim Brickman, Caroline's Spine, The Dresden Dolls, Willie Nelson (who is incorrectly credited with penning the song quite often), pop-punk band Fifteen, Lea Salonga, Andy Bernard in The Office, The Loves, and many others. It was sung by Blondie's Debbie Harry in a duet with Kermit on the Muppet Show in 1981 (Season 5).

Chart success

Kermit's version of "The Rainbow Connection" reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November of 1979; the song remained in the Top 40 for 7 weeks total.

Critical reception and legacy

Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams received Oscar nominations at the [http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0149455.html 1979 Academy Awards] for the movie score and for "The Rainbow Connection", which Allmusic describes as an "unlikely radio hit ... which Kermit the Frog sings with all the dreamy wistfulness of a short green Judy Garland."cite web |url=http://www.allmusicguide.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:hnfixqwgldke |title="Muppet Movie" Original Soundtrack Review |accessdate=2007-05-09 |last=Cater |first=Darryl |work=Allmusic] and goes on to add that "'The Rainbow Connection' serves the same purpose in ["The Muppet Movie"] that 'Over the Rainbow' serves in "The Wizard of Oz", with nearly equal effectiveness: an opening establishment of the characters' driving urge for something more in life." The song was also nominated for the Golden Globes for "Best Original Song" in 1979, losing both Oscar and Globe to "It Goes Like It Goes" from "Norma Rae".

The popular song's name has been used by a number of charitable organizations wishing to evoke its message, including a children's charity similar to the Make-A-Wish Foundation [http://www.rainbowwishconnection.org/] , a summer camp for seriously ill children [http://www.rccamp.org/] , and a horseback riding camp for people with disabilities [http://www.therainbowconnection.org/pages/1/index.htm] .

The song even appears on the American Film Institute's 100 Years 100 Songs list at number 74.

Trivia

On 22 March, 1996 a young man briefly held a New Zealand radio station hostage. One of his key demands was that the station play "The Rainbow Connection".cite web |url=http://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/fringe/9603/03-27/index.html |title=CNN World Fringe]

In the "Office" episode "The Convict", Andy Bernard serenades Pam Beesly with a high-pitched (partially Pig Latin) version of the song with banjo accompaniment.

In the episode "Cold Spell" of the Series Picket Fences (first aired 28 October 1994), Paul Williams appeared in a guest role and performed his own song.

In the made for TV movie "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" Kermit comes across a statue of himself in the park. The statue's plaque has the words "THANK YOU KERMIT" FROM THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD. "...FOR THE LOVERS, THE DREAMERS, AND YOU." - a section of the lyrics from the Rainbow Connection.

In 2002, a Japanese Television show entitled “Love Love Love” used “The Carpenters” version of the song as their opening song. [http://www.irmnet.com/usn/love.html] , U.S. Nippon article on the Show..]

External links

* [http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/rainbow.htm "The Rainbow Connection" lyrics]
* [http://paulwilliamsconnection.org Words by Paul Williams]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRvhRhWWE44 As sung by Debbie Harry and Kermit the Frog]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4kmzIkUO1A As sung by the Dresden Dolls]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggdoi0rgSjI As sung by Jason Mraz]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thEiXbovv98 As performed in the Muppet Movie]

References


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