Spring has sprung here in Texas! It’s not that easy “Bein’ Green” when you have allergies!

Fortunately, where we live in Texas, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of pollen, so my allergies aren’t flaring up too much at the moment. Still, I’m reminded of an old Muppets song about the color green. Why? Because the other day, I was listening to the many stylings of “Bein’ Green” on YouTube. I found some really good renditions of a great song. And it’s green here in Texas… or as green as it can get in a place where there are very few deciduous trees.

The original “Bein’ Green” from 1969.

There’s something very moving about the plain, melancholy way Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) sings this sweet song about being sad about being ordinary. Done right, this song becomes extraordinary.

Big Bird sings “Bein’ Green” at Jim Henson’s memorial service in May 1990.

I cannot watch this rendition of “Bein’ Green” without crying. When Jim Henson suddenly died of pneumonia in May 1990, I felt like I’d lost an old friend. Big Bird singing this at Jim Henson’s memorial service is just so incredibly moving. I can tell that he’s about to cry.

The lovely Sophie Milman sings her wistful jazzy version of “Bein’ Green” live…

I love the way Sophie Milman sings this, explaining why this song means something to her. She’s come a long way from being a picked on kid to a beautiful jazz chanteuse.

Of course, “Bein’ Green” is not always done in such a sad way.

CeeLo Green sings with Kermit on The Voice. It’s poignant, but not a tear jerker. I think CeeLo’s church lady outfit helps keep the levity alive.

The folks on Glee sang “Bein’ Green” too…

I like Glee, but their songs sound a bit auto-tuned sometimes.

I think this may be my favorite version of “Bein’ Green”.

Ray Charles just kills this song. The first time I heard this version of it was on The Cosby Show, when Rudy Huxtable got in trouble for trying to wear a summer dress on a chilly day. I love watching Ray Charles sing this while he plays piano. He turns a sad song into something triumphant and magnificent.

Shirley Horn’s tribute to Ray Charles…

Shirley Horn’s jazzy version of “Bein’ Green” is poignant and lovely, with elegant, dramatic piano playing accompanying her rich, velvety voice. Listening to this version makes me wish I had stuck with piano lessons. I’d love to be able to play this the way Shirley Horn does.

And here’s the version that made me decide to write about this song today…

Van Morrison gives this song more of an upbeat styling, with funky guitars, swanky saxophone, and his own assertive voice. While this version of “Bein’ Green” is not quite as shattering as some of the other renditions, I still like it. In fact, I liked what Van Morrison did with this song so much that I went looking for the album it came from, which is now out of print. I ordered a used copy of Hard Nose The Highway after listening to several tracks on YouTube and determining I had to have it.

I have myself also sung this song…

I need to learn how to play piano… and lose lots of weight so I look good on camera. *Sigh*… It’s not easy bein’ green.

I hope your green days of spring are just lovely. Remember all the ways green can be beautiful! Especially if you have good allergy meds.

Bein’ Green (MP3 Music)

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