Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bruce Springsteen and the Sesame Street Band

Several months ago, my wife and I were babysitting our niece and after a few hours of reading books and playing with toys, the method of entertainment turned to watching YouTube videos on an iPhone. Our niece repeatedly requested “Ernie” and following back-to-back viewings of “Rubber Ducky,” we began searching for other Sesame Street videos to watch. Knowing that Sesame Street has a history of pop culture awareness and celebrity guest stars, I went out on a limb and searched for “Sesame Street” and “Springsteen.” While I didn’t find a clip of Bruce himself on Sesame Street, I was delighted to find two parody songs: “Born to Add” and “Barn in the U.S.A.”

Of the two, “Born to Add” is clearly the better song. It captures the melody and energy of three Springsteen classics (“Born to Run,” “Jungleland,” and “Thunder Road”) very nicely without making it too hard rockin’ for kids. It even amalgamates the three songs so smoothly that I didn’t realize it was a medley until I read it in the YouTube comments. It also features a nice nod to the Jersey Shore.

For my taste, the melody of “Barn in the U.S.A.” sounds a bit too threatening and almost demonic. However, it has a lot of animals, which is a surefire way to spark interest with kids. I also love the Bruce puppet in this one.

Whichever song you prefer, I love that these exist. Hats off to the good people at Sesame Street. These videos not only give adults access points to child-friendly entertainment but also do their part to introduce the magic of Springsteen to kids at an early age!

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