Someone Nice — Joe Raposo
I was thinking about the poem “Someone Nice” yesterday, and then my sister happened to blog about hearting Joe Raposo. So I’ve decided to add an amen to that by posting the lyrics to one of my favorite Sesame Street songs. But first a little bit about my affinity for Sesame Street:
Anyone who knows me well knows that as a teenager I went through a phase where I decided that Sesame Street — the old stuff — was pretty much the cat’s meow. (And anyone who knows Sesame Street well will recognize that my blog title is a quote from one of the old animations on SS). When I was about 15, I watched SS daily, with my finger on the record button of the VCR, so that I could record just the good stuff. The old stuff. The classic stuff. I still have those tapes, but most of what I was able to capture (and much more) is now on YouTube. (Thanks, other faithful fans!)
Being at that tender age where anything obsessed-over is easily and naturally committed to memory forever, I am now a walking Sesame Street dictionary–at least for anything pre-1993. I didn’t have to work hard to know all the lyrics to all the songs–it just came naturally. :)
Joe Raposo and Jeff Moss were the two main original songwriters for Sesame Street, and most of the good old classics were written by them. Moss’ musical rythms and patterns were simple, catchy, and predictable (Rubber Duckie, I Love Trash, People In Your Neighborhood, I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon…). Raposo had some equally simple songs (Sesame Street Theme Song, C Is for Cookie, ABC-DEF-GHI, Doin’ The Pigeon, Sing…), but he also composed some quite complicated and jazzy (and sometimes melancholy) rythms and chords (Bein’ Green, J-Jump, Little Things, Rain Falls, I’m In Love With You, Pretty Baby…and on and on),
But one of my very favorite Raposo songs is Someone Nice, a song about wanting a friend.
I have never actually seen a clip of this song being performed on Sesame Street, nor do I know if it ever was actually performed. (And I’ve even done a bit of Internet research–mostly what I’ve found is other people wondering if it was ever performed. In fact, I just did another search, and I can’t even find the lyrics online). I first found the song in my 1970 Sesame Street Songbook, and learned to play it on the piano. The tune is lovely, and the words simple, expressive, and sweet.
The lyrics are as follows:
I need someone nice to be nice to,
I need someone sweet for a friend.
I want someone warm I can warm to
When days grow chill,
As they sometimes will.
I need someone strong to be strong for;
I need someone there when I call,
A someone to dream with who’ll see more
Than I can see
When I forget she things I want to be.
Who’ll know he’s lucky when he knows
I’ll need someone nice to be nice to,
And I’ll be needing someone nice like that
My whole life through.
Stay tuned for a future installment, where I talk about another favorite early Sesame Street songwriter and contributer: Bud Luckey