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Someone Nice — Joe Raposo

June 4, 2009

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’ GreenJ-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:

Someone Nice


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.


Someone cheerful,

Someone smiling,

Someone lucky,

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

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2009 11:14 pm

    So, Lili, who is your fav SS character?

    At my friend’s mission farewell, her mom told a story of walking in on her watching SS as a child and catching her crying as Kermit sang Bein’ Green. Aww!

  2. Lili permalink*
    June 7, 2009 11:34 am

    Um, probably Grover. And Kermit.

  3. June 8, 2009 12:12 pm

    Miss Wardrop and Miss Shumway taught us that song in singing time in 3rd grade. And I remember singing it at home and mom telling me that she thought we should be nice to everyone, not just people who are nice to us. :-)

  4. the MomB permalink
    June 9, 2009 9:14 pm

    Well, I don’t regret prodding y’all to ponder & reason, but I sure could be a spoiler! I actually think of that song differently now. It’s not perfectly expressed, but it’s about reciprocity in intimacy (not about the daily need to be kind & respectful to everyone), and I like it. In fact I love it.

  5. February 6, 2010 11:55 am

    Yeah, I bascially LOUVRE this song. I haven’t been able to find it online, either, though (performed).

    But:

  6. February 6, 2010 11:58 am

    Correction! I just found the episode that it’s in: http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Episode_0264

    Now. How on earth can we get an archive copy of episode 264?

    YAY! WE FOUND IT!

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