by carl wilson

Woah, oh, oh, we're counting to four

This has been everywhere, of course, but why not here, too? The thing about the Sesame Street remake of Feist's hit is that it seems like a revelation of the real nature of the song - it's always been a counting song (a form found all over the world - music and math being a natural marriage). It was just disguised as a love song. So the self-parody is an improvement, as if the original version had just been an excuse to get to this point.

Of course, you can't go too wrong when you put Sesame Street, music and counting together:

That last was the Pointer Sisters. And that's not even getting into the oeuvre of the Count. Meanwhile, since we're at it: Philip Glass does Sesame Street (from either 1977 or 1979, depending who you ask):

Seventies Sesame Street is one of the few things capable of making me feel positively overcome with nostalgia - like, chloroformed with a nostalgia-soaked rag. Congratulations to Leslie for joining that great lineage.

General | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, July 15 at 4:56 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (11)



my favourite.

Posted by Dixon on July 28, 2008 10:35 AM



For what it's worth, my 5-year-old son was hugely disappointed in the Sesame Street version. He's been scrutinizing "The Reminder" for a solid year.

Adults are always flattening things out, making things literal, when kids know the fun lies in what you don't get...

Posted by Ange Mlinko on July 22, 2008 9:53 PM



Oh, goodness, does this bring back memories--especially the last two songs; I remember them clearly from my Sesame Street-watching days (and I watched that show religiously).

Posted by Katherine on July 22, 2008 12:10 PM



I'm amazed how many CITUS and NHS ideas I clearly cribbed from the still amazing "Ten" song- any idea who wrote that one?

Posted by Matt Collins on July 16, 2008 11:14 AM



Carl, the Pointer Sisters video lit up all sorts of forgotten memory pathways!

Pretty psychedelic.

Posted by Julie Penner on July 16, 2008 10:19 AM



vain? Leslie Feist? me thinks not.

Posted by songles on July 16, 2008 10:03 AM



That last sentence of my comment -- I typed "I heart Raymond Scott". But I put symbols around the word "heart" (I won't repeat them here) that somehow gave the Internet permission to eat that word. Greedy heart-eating Internet.

Posted by Misha on July 16, 2008 12:55 AM



I think Raymond Scott did a lot of stuff for Sesame Street, and also collaborated w. Jim Henson on some of his other trippier projects.

Some more searching yields this Raymond Scott (I'm pretty sure) counting clip, more on-topic.

I Raymond Scott.

Posted by Misha on July 16, 2008 12:51 AM



I dunno, Marco, you may be right that it's not about the numbers so much (I'm not a pedagogical analyst so I don't know how its teaching value would measure, although it seems to me that one of the principles of Sesame Street is always that if you combine fun and the alphabet/counting/etc, that's enough - it's more the repetition of that content in different contexts that makes it sink in) ... but it seems the opposite of vain to me that Feist is putting these very silly belittling words to her huge popular song (one I happen to like, which I can't say about most of her songs) - it shows a nice sense of humour about herself.

I remember that sequence Misha (god i must have watched a *lot* of S.S. as a kid) but I never knew it was Raymond Scott till tonight. Neat.

Posted by zoilus on July 15, 2008 11:54 PM



for me the cause of near-unbearable nostalgia is the old NFB "canada vignettes" series from the 70s, especially the "faces" one and the Toronto one that recalls the mural in queen station.

but this, i'm not crazy about. sure, its great for the kids, what with the counting etc, but it seems a bit disingenuous and vain, like it really isn't about teaching the kids about numbers. More like a knowing reference to the fact that some of her french ye-ye role models (chantal goya, france gall) switched to doing children's songs after they had made it big. maybe i read into it too much, i dunno. anyway no biggie, life goes on.

Posted by marco on July 15, 2008 11:19 PM



Counting & Phillip Glass, meet the Alphabet & Raymond Scott:

Posted by Misha on July 15, 2008 10:13 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson