“Bein’ Green” (also known as “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green”) is a popular song written by Joe Raposo, originally performed by Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog on both Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
In the Muppets version, Kermit begins by lamenting his green coloration, expressing that green “blends in with so many ordinary things” and wishing to be some other color. But by the end of the song, Kermit recalls positive associations with the color green, and concludes by accepting and embracing his greenness.
More than three dozen albums recorded over a span of 45 years contain the song. Artists from Jim Henson (1970), to Brenna Whitaker’s “We Love Disney” 2015 album included “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green” in their selections. Artists as varied as Frank Sinatra (1971), Diana Ross (1974), and the Boston Pops (1996) paid tribute to “Bein’ Green.” Even Till Brönner, German jazz bugler, chose to include it in his 2005 album “That Summer.” Ray Charles’ version from his 1975 album Renaissance gained popularity thanks to an episode of The Cosby Show. Charles then sang a duet with Kermit on Sesame Street and The Cher Show and also sang the song on the 1989 special Sesame Street… 20 Years & Still Counting.
In addition to Jim Henson, In addition to Jim Henson, other Sesame Street Performers have sung it: Bob McGrath (1998), Rowlf the Dog (1993), Oscar the Grouch (2005). The song was sung by Big Bird at the two memorial services for Jim Henson in 1990. (In his comedy special No Cure for Cancer, Denis Leary incorrectly mentioned that Kermit had sung the song at the Henson funeral.)
It’s Not Easy Being Green
by Joe Raposo
It’s not that easy being green;
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-
or something much more colorful like that.
It’s not easy being green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water-
or stars in the sky.
But green’s the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like the ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.
When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder?
Why Wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful!
And I think it’s what I want to be.