A while ago I got Riley this Sesame Street alphabet album. It’s essentially the same as a vinyl LP that I had at his age, except with a token Elmo song tacked onto the beginning so they could justify putting him on the new cover art. My LP had a couple of nasty scratches in it too. But it was one of several Sesame Street albums that I pumped into my ears as often as the parents would let me for a few years.
I’ve loved hearing it again (skipping right over Elmo, hehe). The familiar songs feel mostly the same, but also my perspective is obviously a bit different now. As a kid I wasn’t yet able to really appreciate how well done the songs are, plus they were so effective in drawing me in that I wouldn’t have really analyzed them anyway. But a couple of them are pretty complex musically, and of course the whole thing is sprinkled with humor that is too advanced for toddlers. You get the feeling that Jim Henson and company were trying to keep themselves entertained along with the kids. That’s exactly what I like about TMBG’s kids music too, of course. Riley seems to like these as much as I did/do.
But thinking about the Muppets, I also realized how much it says about their relationship that Ernie has articulated hands, while Bert has articulated eyebrows instead. They’re basically doomed by phenotype into their roles in the actor/reactor dichotomy. (I’m a Bert by that measure. And by several others, I think.)