Letters of Life

I in the Sky


You gotta listen to this song. It’s vintage ’70s with that psychedic feel that pervaded this first-of-its-kind kids’ television at the time. Sometimes it did seem as if the Sesame Street illustrators were high on magic mushrooms or weed to have come up with the kind of alphabet/number videos that they did.

“I-In the Sky” was the song I loved best among all of SS’s alphabet songs. The guitar chords, the melancholic tune, the idea of living in the sky, it was all so appealing in a land-beyond-the-clouds kind of way. I still think so today.

Sesame Street reflected the best of the ’70s style of music and graphics when the programme was fresh and persisted in finding new ways to teach counting and the alphabet to kids. TV was a new medium, and the sky really was the limit. There was pinball, the ball of sand rolling through myriad wheels, skits, videos, spaghetti, and cookies.

Remember the baker who fell down the steps carrying the requisite number of chocolate pies and various creamy confections? The fall was constantly a source of gratuitous anxiety to me, and my least favourite segment then.

Yet today, it’s what I remember most fondly and I smile when I think of his fanfare (“10 birthday cakes!) and choreographed fall. What were the folks at the Children’s Television Workshop thinking?

Sesame Street wasn’t just a part of our childish history, it became a part of our collective psyche. It was an integral part of Saturday afternoons. It might have been in black-and-white for a while, but to my mind, it never lacked colour. I watched it from time to time even when I was in junior college. Kind of like going back to an old childhood haunt for a visit.

Sesame Street was cool, it never seemed to go out of date, and it was the media equivalent of a favourite blankie which I cherished because it formed, largely, a happy part of my childhood.

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2 Responses »

  1. Indeed, those were the days … these days, children TV … well, not too constructive.

    Thanks for sharing, Yuming!

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