Kieran Moore – If you’re a longtime fan of this website or a casual reader or someone who wandered here accidentally and happen to be psychic, you’ll know that I recently hit 150 Top 10 Muppet Charts! You’ll also know that every time I hit a round of 50 charts I produce an enormous wrap up list like this one and start it off by writing something along the lines of “Wow! I can’t believe I got this far!”
Wow! I can’t believe I got this far!
And I really, really can’t. When I sent Ryan Dosier my Top 10 Jim Henson Songs article almost four years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d still be going 149 lists later.
Wow! I can’t believe I got this far!
I’ve had a tonne of fun putting these pieces together and learnt so much about the Muppets as I’ve researched each subject – I’m hoping both are also true for you guys. Minus duplicates, I’ve now had the pleasure of discovering and passing on 1,500 songs!
So before I get too self-referential and start gushing about myself even more than I already have, I’m proud to present my 150th anniversary chart. Here is every number one song from every top 10 chart – rated and ranked for your reading and listening pleasure.
Stay tuned to the end for some (kind of) in-depth analysis and a very special announcement. (No I’m not quitting – you can take down the bunting!)
150 – Dixie Wailin’ (The Skeptics) – Muppet Fan Week Chart
149 -Six (My Favorite Number Is) – Muppet Mindset Birthday Chart
148 – Wedding Pictures – 1988 Chart
147 – Thanksgiving With My Friends – Thanksgiving Chart
146 – I Love My Hair – 2010 Chart
145 – I’m Flying – Big Bird Chart
144 – It’s a Small World – Disney Chart
143 – Sonny Boy – Link Hogthrob Chart
142 – Row, Row, Row, Your Boat – Wayne & Wanda Chart
141 – Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Dogs Chart
This is always the moment where I have to remind myself that all of these songs have been number one in the past otherwise I feel bad for the great songs, great characters and great shows that find themselves at the bottom of the pile. Professional courtesy dictates I have to put the 150th song last since I’m the one singing! Have a listen here and decide for yourself where it should really go…
140 – Sesame Street Theme (Jimmy Fallon Show) – 2013 Chart
139 – The Street I Live On – 2004 Chart
138 – Stinky’s Love Song – Joey Mazzarino Chart
137 – I Want a Snuffleupagus for Christmas – Caroll Spinney Christmas Chart
136 – I Am Chicken – Chickens Chart
135 – A Salute to the Year – 1982 Chart
134 – Don’t Fence Me In – Horses Chart
133 – It Takes Some Time – Sesame Street Season 10 Chart
132 – Here in My Neighborhood – Roscoe Orman, Emilio Delgado & Bob McGrath Chart 131 – I Will Survive – Hallowe’en Chart
There are so many wonderful songs here, but it strikes me that Sesame Street has got a bit of a raw deal as seven of these songs are from the show (or derived from it). There are also some of my favorite singers here with Louise Gold, Alaina Reed Hall and Bob McGrath all included. It’s hard to choose just one song to feature, but I’m going with this one because it was number one on my 50th chart…
130 – What Now My Love? – Muppet Break Ups Chart
129 – Sing/Our Favorite Street – 1994 Chart
128 – Little Things – Prairie Dawn Chart
127 – Pig Calypso – Pigs Chart
126 – Put Down the Duckie (Celebrity Version) – Kevin Clash Chart
125 – Alphabet Song – Louise Gold Chart
124 – My Own Fairytale – Leslie Carrara-Rudolph Chart
123 – Light Opera Alphabet – Mr Snuffleupagus Chart
122 – Mary Had a Bicycle – Sheep Chart
121 – Ode to Joy – Beaker Chart
This section is full of memories for me. First is my Muppet Break Ups chart. I’d just finished writing a brand new list when the news of Kermit and Miss Piggy’s split happened. In order to catch the zeitgeist of one of the biggest ever Muppet stories I stayed up until 3am researching and writing a brand new chart! The other one that is special to me is the Leslie Carrara-Rudolph chart. After incorrectly identifying Leslie as the singer of a song from Muppets Tonight (and making it number one) I was contacted by Leslie’s husband Paul (who was music co-ordinator on the show) to let me know of my error. It was really touching to know Leslie had seen my list and for a while I was even a source on Muppet Wiki, so I’ll always love Leslie for that.
120 – Counting is Wonderful – 1995 Chart
119 – Hairy Fairy – Primates Chart
118 – Doin’ The Pigeon – Bert Chart
117 – Put Down the Duckie (Hoots Version) Birds Chart
116 – My Triangle – 2007 Chart
115 – Songs – 1998 Chart
114 – Still, We Like Each Other – Sesame Street Season 4 Chart
113 – Easter Parade – Easter Chart
112 – This Is Me – 2008 Chart
111 – Springin’ – 2003 Chart
This last batch of songs includes some absolute classics. It might seem like sacrilege to list a Studio DC song higher than Doin’ The Pigeon and I guess it kind of is, but I like This Is Me. We also have songs from little seen Henson shows Mopatop’s Shop and Animal Jam – both are fantastic and worth checking out, but I have to give the feature slot to Bert to say sorry for his low placement here (don’t worry – he’ll be back).
110 – Valentine’s Day Song – Elmo Chart
109 – What Happened to Show Business? 2001 Chart
108 – The Entertainer – Frank Oz Chart
107 – La La La – Sesame Street Season 3 Chart
106 – Just Like Magic – Abby Cadabby Chart
105 – Share it Maybe – David Rudman Chart
104 – How Wide, How Far, How Long? – Junior Gorg Chart
103 – Pukka, Pukka Squeetily Boink – Wembley Fraggle Chart
102 – Everyone Matters – 2002 Chart
101 – You and Me Against the World – Bill Barretta Chart
Our first Fraggle songs (minus my cover) come courtesy of Junior Gorg and Wembley Fraggle. It’s a shame they didn’t quite make the top 100 with their Fraggle Rock pals. A couple of my favorite Muppet performers are here – David Rudman was fantastic at the recent O² shows and Bill Barretta can do no wrong. However, I’ll be in so much trouble with Miss Piggy if I don’t put the spotlight firmly on her and Frank Oz right now…
100 – Duermete Mi Niño – Carmen Osbahr Chart
99 – Please Don’t Bump Into Me – Fran Brill Chart
98 – Underground – 1986 Chart
97 – Bein’ Green (Rowlf) – Rainbow Connection Chart
96 – Lazy Bones – Dr. Teeth Chart
95 – Tides (Jerry Nelson) – Muppet Performers in Non-Muppet Roles Chart
94 – Cripple Creek – Sesame Street Season 8 Chart
93 – Copacabana – Global Road Trip Chart
92 – I’ve Seen Troubles – Trash Heap Chart
91 – Singin’ In the Rain – Muppet Weather Forecast Chart
As we enter the top 100 things are really hotting up now. I’d love to see at least half of these songs score higher, but the quality from here on in is amazing. If you haven’t heard any of Jerry Nelson’s non-Muppet music please do so straight away (well maybe wait until you’ve got to the end of this list first). Underground, by David Bowie is a fantastic Gospel/Rock number and we have our first version of Bein’ Green. I’m going to highlight this particular song though as I genuinely feel on another day it could easily trouble the top 10.
90 – Kokomo – 1993 Chart
89 – Sweet Vacation – Summer Vacation Chart
88 – Professional Pirate – Villains Chart
87 – Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da – 1991 Chart
86 – Tweet in the Morning – Sesame Street Celebrity Parodies Chart
85 – You’re Just in Love – The Swedish Chef Chart
84 – Muppet Show Theme – TV Theme Tunes Chart
83 – Fraggle Rock Theme – 1983 Chart
82 – I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu) – Matt Vogel Chart
81 – To Morrow – USA Road Trip Chart
In the battle of the TV themes, Fraggle Rock has pipped The Muppet Show by one place – I just love that bassline. It was purely by accident, but I’ve just spotted my 1983 chart has ended up in 83rd place. That must mean something, surely? We also have two villains here with Long John Silver and Constantine appearing. Alongside that we have one of Richard Hunt’s last performances in Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da. If I’m going to recommend you listen to any of these though it has to be this one. I hope I haven’t missed my train!
80 – Muskrat Love – 2012 Chart
79 – Temptation – Episode 101 Chart
78 – Riff’s Riff – 1989 Chart
77 – United We Stand – 1980 Chart
76 – It Feels like Christmas – 1992 Chart
75 – Jim Is – Muppet Celebrations Chart
74 – He’ll Make Me Happy (FountainKeeper) – Fan Covers (Instrumentals) Chart
73 – You and Me Against the World – 1997 Chart
72 – C is For Cookie – Cookie Monster Chart
71 – Happy Feet – 2017 Chart
There were a couple of pleasant surprises for me in this next set of 10. Both Muskrat Love and “Riff’s Riff” were pretty much unknown to me before they became chart toppers. I wasn’t hugely familiar with United We Stand either, but all three charmed me so much I had to give them the crown. Alongside these are some very well known tracks like Happy Feet and C is For Cookie. For something that’s much less known than any of these (even though it deserves to be world famous), here is a lovely cover of He’ll Make Me Happy by FountainKeeper. Check it out…
70 – Hey a Movie! – Opening Numbers Chart
69 – What’s the Name of That Song? – Sesame Street Season 6 Chart
68 – Do It On my Own – Muppet Workouts Chart
67 – Hugga Wugga/You Are My Sunshine – 1976 Chart
66 – Mr. Bassman – Richard Hunt Chart
65 – Bohemian Rhapsody – Queens Chart
64 – Halfway Down the Stairs – Robin Chart
63 – Children of Tomorrow – Fraggle Group Songs Chart
62 – Bear Cha-Cha-Cha – Bears Chart
61 – A Red & Green Christmas – 2006 Chart
There’s a bit of something for everyone in this group of 10 songs. All the major Muppet franchises are mentioned and we have fun and excitement with Hey a Movie!, comedy with Hugga Wugga and heart with Halfway Down the Stairs. We also get the wonderful Richard Hunt as Scooter with Mr. Bassman, and viral video heaven in Bohemian Rhapsody. I have to give the feature slot to Hugga Wugga though because it’s our bountiful leader’s favorite (after Bless Us All).
60 – Six String Orchestra – Scooter Chart
59 – Kodachrome – 2015 Chart
58 – Ain’t No Road Too Long – 1985 Chart
57 – Ragtime Queen – Kathryn Mullen Chart
56 – Count On Me – Count von Count Chart
55 – Bein’ Green (Lena Horne) – Sesame Street Season 7 Chart
54 – I See A Kingdom – 1999 Chart
53 – With a Little Help From My Friends – Janice Chart
52 – When I’m With You – 2005 Chart
51 – Our World – 2011 Chart
Some of my favorite ever characters appear here, including Janice, Scooter, Mokey and The Count. And there are also two of my favorite Sesame Street movie songs with I See A Kingdom and Ain’t No Road Too Long. There’s a smattering of the 21st century here too. Kodachrome is fantastic and Our World is beautiful, but I’m presenting When I’m With You here. It’s one of the best songs the Muppets have done over the last 18 years and deserves more recognition.
50 – Treasure Island/Shiver My Timbers – 1996 Chart
49 – Say (What You Need to Say) – 2009 Chart
48 – Wild Thing – Sgt. Floyd Pepper Chart
47 – The Weight – 2014 Chart
46 – Pictures in My Head – Steve Whitmire Chart
45 – I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus – Dave Goelz Christmas Songs Chart
44 – I Hope That Something Better Comes Along – Rowlf Chart
43 – San Francisco/Can You Picture That? – 2016 Chart
42 – Happiness Hotel – 1981 Chart
41 – The Christmas Wish – 1979 Chart
Another mixed bag here. The overriding theme seems to be ballads with Say (What You Need to Say), The Weight, I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus and Pictures in My Head, but we also have Can You Picture That? and Wild Thing for balance. I’m glad all of these songs sneaked into the top 50, but on another day this one could be so much higher (top 10 at least) so enjoy this and shed a tear or two…
40 – The Grouch Anthem – Caroll Spinney Chart
39 – Something So Right – Eric Jacobson Chart
38 – Let Me Be Your Song – Number 2’s Chart
37 – One Little Star – Martin P. Robinson Chart
36 – Drum of Time – Bunnies Chart
35 – This Frog – Frogs Chart
34 – Movin’ Right Along – Fozzie Bear Chart
33 – Sing – Sesame Street Season 2 Chart
32 – Different People, Different Ways – 2000 Chart
31 – For What It’s Worth – 1978 Chart
We’ve got Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy featured here so we know we’re bringing out the big guns now. We even have a legitimate American songbook classic with Sing and on the flipside the fairly obscure Drum of Time (which I absolutely adore). A special mention however has to go to Caroll Spinney and Follow That Bird, as both appear here multiple times. This was one of my favorite Muppet songs as a kid and it’s never really left me…
30 – Saying Goodbye – 1984 Chart
29 – The Christmas Wish – Jim Henson Christmas Chart
28 – One More Sleep ‘til Christmas – Christmas Eve Chart
27 – The Peace Carol – Richard Hunt Christmas Songs Chart
26 – The Alphabet Song (Joey & Kermit) – Sesame Street Season 5 Chart
25 – The Magic Store – The Muppets Take the O² Chart
24 – I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon – Ernie Chart
23 – Fever – Animal Chart
22 – Goodbye, Goodbye (Just a Rainbow in the Sky) – Gobo Fraggle Chart
21 – In the Good Old Summertime – Muppet Show Guest Stars of ‘78 Chart
There’s a definite seasonal feel to this batch with three Christmas songs and a mention of summer! Just sneaking into the top 25 is the live performance of The Magic Store from the recent O2 shows in London. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever have another weekend as amazing as being in the audience for several real life Muppet Shows. There’s also a goodbye theme running here and in memory of another real life event I’m going to feature Saying Goodbye.
20 – It Feels Like Christmas – Jerry Nelson Christmas Chart
19 – Turn the World Around – Muppet Show Guest Stars of ‘79 Chart
18 – Something So Right – Miss Piggy Chart
17 – Man or Muppet – Unsung Heroes Chart
16 – Just a Dream Away – 1987 Chart
15 – Shadow’s Lullaby – Bear in the Big Blue House Chart
14 – The Grouch Anthem – Oscar the Grouch Chart
13 – I Need a Word – Grover Chart
12 – Dixie Wailin’ – Boober Fraggle Chart
11 – Bein’ Green (Kermit) – Sesame Street Season 1 Chart
And this brings us up to the top 10! What a great bunch of songs these are. Man or Muppet just pips Something So Right for the modern Muppet movie ballad crown and Muppet classics Bein’ Green and Turn the World Around also feature. To have both of these outside of the top 10 seems wrong somehow, but then we really are in the creme de la creme of Muppet music now.
10 – Friendship Song – Karen Prell Chart
Last time I did one of these lists this song just fell out of the top 10 – now it’s back and as moving as ever.
9 – Just One Person – 1977 Chart
Rightfully, one of the most revered songs in the Muppet canon (did somebody say cannon?) If you don’t know why this is in the top 10 you need to go to Muppet Wiki right now.
8 – Wishing Song – The Great Gonzo Chart
The Muppets are best when they’re expressing a range of emotions and this song is sad but also uplifting.
7 – When the River Meets the Sea – Jerry Nelson Chart
If you’re not in tears listening to this then I don’t know what to say. Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold were never better than they are here. This is both singers’ highest position and I can’t think of a better way to honor them.
6 – The Christmas Wish – Muppet Christmas Productions Chart
This is our second Christmas song in a row and a previous number one as it top the top spot in last year’s top 100 chart. This song appears 3 times today and is the only song to do so in the same form. It’s a beautiful song and one of Kermit’s best ever vocals. It sums up Christmas more than anything I’ve ever heard.
5 – Let Me Be Your Song – Cantus Chart
Cantus officially has the top ranking Fraggle Rock song. One day I’d love to make this number one on one of these big charts. Jim Henson at his philosophical best.
4 – Bein’ Green (Big Bird) – 1990 Chart
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have detected a theme in this top 10 list – it’s very emotional ballad heavy. I did wrestle with myself to see if I could inject a bit more humor into the top spots, after all the Muppets are known for their comedy, but with songs and performances like this you can’t do anything but honor them with a high placing. If you can find another Muppet song with more emotion I’ll buy you a birdseed milkshake.
3 – A Song From Kermit – Sesame Street Season 9 Chart
This is the only brand new song in the top 10. It’s very, very deserving of a top three place. From the first woodwind notes to the last few bars, this is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s today’s top Sesame Street song for a reason.
2 – I’m Going to Go Back There Someday – Dave Goelz Chart
This song pretty much sums up my philosophy on life. I was having a conversation with a friend today about self-worth, self-belief and being comfortable in your own skin. I attribute my ability to love myself (in a good way) to the Muppets, this song and Gonzo as a character. This might be the most important song on today’s chart.
1 – Rainbow Connection – Jim Henson Chart
The one that quite literally started it all. This was my very first number one on my very first chart. It’s never been at the top of one of these big round up charts and now feels like the right time to make it so. I know there have been conversations in the fan community recently about whether this song is overplayed and maybe in its ragtag assortment of jukebox TV show versions it is, but this original take can never be heard too much. Jim Henson sings it with reverent gusto (if that isn’t an oxymoron) and I’m certain this speaks to every Muppet fan directly. Yes, every song in this top 10 is emotional, but that only speaks of the higher plane the Muppets connect to us on. It’s the Rainbow Connection and it’s for the lovers, the dreamers and you.
And what a wonderful way to end a giant anniversary list! It’s been a heck of a task, but it ain’t quite over. Let’s look at the stats…
First the big one – 71 of these songs come from core Muppet gang productions, including The Muppet Show and related movies, specials and even a video game.
51 originated from Sesame Street and 14 are Fraggle Rock songs.
3 songs are from Bear in the Big Blue House and 2 were first performed by Emmet Otter (though he doesn’t appear himself).
There are 3 songs from non-Christmas seasonal specials, 1 creature shop movie and an album from a Muppet performer. The rest are mostly from assorted kids’ shows and specials.
It’s tough to say with certainty exact numbers for character appearances as I like to only include featured performances and they aren’t always clear cut (Does Scooter “feature” in Happiness Hotel for his couple of lines? How about Janice or Floyd?). Kermit unsurprisingly has the most songs on the list. Miss Piggy and Gonzo make up the top 3 in that order. Floyd is next with Scooter, Dr. Teeth, Fozzie and Rowlf following on behind. For Sesame only characters, Big Bird is first (and fourth overall after Kermit, Piggy and Gonzo). After that Ernie is second and Bert, The Count and Cookie Monster are joint third. Most of the Fraggles are equal with Red just sneaking ahead of Jr. Gorg, Cantus, Wembley, Boober and Gobo. Mokey needs to catch up a bit which is a shame as she’s probably my favorite.
Exactly 50 songs feature a significant appearance by a human.
Working out who has moved up and down is also tricky as there are an extra 50 songs compared to last time. In essence a song that was 50 last time would want to be 75 now to be on equal footing. The best example of this is Dixie Wailin’ by The Skeptics which went from 100 to 150. 3 songs haven’t moved from last year – they are Hugga Wugga (particularly impressive as a mid-chart song), I’m Going to Go Back There Someday and Let Me Be Your Song. The biggest drop is Mad Dogs and Englishmen which has fallen 75 places. A few songs went up this time – the biggest jumps are The Grouch Anthem (up 18) and Man or Muppet (up 17).
12 songs feature the word “Song”; 5 include a question mark in the title. 13 are Christmas songs and 2 are related to Easter. 5 Songs have numbers in the title. Every major song from The Muppet Movie features now with the notable exception of Never Before, Never Again (hopefully it will make it someday). Last time I wrote one of these charts I lamented the fact that I was a Tony away from an EGOT – can we maybe count the fact that several of these performers have a Tony award, even if it’s not for the song on display?
While we ponder that, I have to say a few Thank You’s. First, to everyone who performed, wrote, produced etc. any of these songs. You’ve made the last few days very hard for me. Thank You also to Muppet Wiki without whom none of this would be possible. Finally, thank You to Ryan Dosier and Jarrod Fairclough for letting me indulge my passion and giving me an outlet to spout random nonsense that hopefully occasionally makes sense and Thank You to all of you who read my charts, share them on social media and join the debate. Without you I’d just be shouting into the void.
And now for my big announcement…!
After lots of encouragement, I’ve decided to put my first 150 charts together as a book. It’s something I’ve been asked about countless times and this anniversary seems like the perfect opportunity to do it. It’ll be a weighty tome that will be passed down through the ages and become a text so revered it can only be mentioned in hushed tones.
It will primarily an e-book (but with real copies also available).
I will collect and collate all 150 Top 10 lists, put them together by category and then write all-new content to accompany them. I might even throw in a few bonuses – just for you (and the man reading this over your shoulder on the bus)! Look out for it on all disreputable bookselling websites in the next few months!
(Note from Jarrod Fairclough: Congratulations Kieran on 150 Charts! I was impressed when you got to 50, let alone 100. With 150, I’m now just concerned for your mental well being! Thank you for all the great content every Friday, you’d be amazed how much easier it is with you. I’m excited to read your book, and I’m excited to write the foreward – I am writing the foreward, right? Thanks for showcasing Hugga Wugga, too. I’ll send your cake in the mail. — Jarrod)