" is a popular song originally written by Joe Raposo
in 1970 for the first season of the children's show Sesame Street
where it was performed by Kermit the Frog
(voiced by Jim Henson
"It's not easy being green" is a phrase that appears in pop culture as an expression of melancholy. In the song, Kermit begins by lamenting his green coloration, expressing that green "blends in with so many ordinary things."
The song is associated with problems with identity, and failure of individuality. It can also be interpreted in terms of social alienation, and more specifically, the inequalities created by race.
By the end of the song, Kermit recalls positive associations with the color green, and concludes by accepting and embracing his greenness ("It's beautiful! And it's what I want to be...") Research by Sesame Workshop in 1989 discovered that "many preschool children failed to recognize that Kermit felt happy about being green by the end of the song." Other material created as part of Sesame Street's race relations curriculum was better understood.
Recordings of Bein' Green
- Kermit the Frog, B-side of 1970 Sesame Street single "Animals" also The Sesame Street Book and Record, 1995 album Sesame Street Platinum: All Time Favorites, 2000 album Kermit Unpigged with Don Henley, 2002 album The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More - 25th Anniversary, 2003 Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music remastered original recording
- Frank Sinatra, 1970 album Sinatra & Company.
- Buddy Rich, 1972 album Stick It
- Van Morrison, 1973 album Hard Nose the Highway, jokingly described by Rolling Stone as "a landmark of Muppet soul."
- Diana Ross, 1974 Album Diana Ross Live at Caesars Palace
- Ray Charles, 1975 album Renaissance; this version gained popularity thanks to an episode of The Cosby Show. Charles then sang a duet with Kermit on Sesame Street.
- Jackie McLean, 1978 album New Wine in Old Bottles.
- Keith Harris and Orville the Duck, 1983 single
- Mandy Patinkin, 1990 album Dress Casual
- Rowlf the Dog, 1993 album Ol' Brown Ears Is Back
- Jill O'Hara, 1993 album Jill O'Hara, titled "Green"
- Shirley Horn, 1993 Album Light Out of Darkness (A Tribute To Ray Charles)
- Stan Kenton, 1992 album 7.5 on the Richter Scale, titled "It's Not Easy Bein' Green", includes what has been described as a "monotonous group vocal"
- Don Henley with Kermit, 1994 album Kermit Unpigged
- Mike Campbell, 1994 album Easy Chair Jazz; leans to almost spoken word
- Urbie Green, 1994 cassette Bein' Green
- Vanessa Rubin, 1995 album Vanessa Rubin Sings
- Paul Schmeling, 1995 album One for the Road
- Boston Pops Orchestra, 1996 album Wish Upon a Star/All-Time Children's Favorites
- Fools and Critters,1995 album Flinging Powdered Doughuts
- Daboa, 1997 album From the Gekko
- Johnny Lytle, 1997 album Easy Easy, completely instrumental
- Tony Bennett, 1998 album The Playground
- Bob McGrath, 1998 album Bob's Favorite Street Songs
- Manfred Krug, 2000 album Schlafstörung, titled "Frosches Lied (Bein' Green)" with German lyrics
- Lemuel West, 2000 album In Good Company
- Donna Leonhart, 2001 album Bein' Green
- Maestro Pocero (Josele Santiago), 2002 album, Patitos feos, titled "Ser verde (Being Green)"
- 2003 album Drew's Famous Kids St. Patrick's Day Party
- Andy Hallett, 2004 album, Angel - Music from The Original TV Series
- Mark Murphy, 2005 album Once to Every Heart
- Oscar the Grouch, 2005 season of Sesame Street
- Till Brönner, German jazz bugler, 2005 album That Summer
- Audra McDonald, 2006 album Build a Bridge
- Sophie Milman, 2007 album Make Someone Happy
- A 2006 Super Bowl advertisement for Ford automobiles featured Kermit adventuring through the wild, while singing the song. Later Kermit comes across a Ford Escape Hybrid, and comes to the conclusion that "maybe it is easy being green."
- David Brin novel Kiln People: The title of Chapter 6 is "It's Not Easy Being Green".
- Sara Elizabeth Lewis' Waterfront Property: The first line of the song is quoted at the start of Chapter 26.
- Lois Lowry novel Rabble Starkey: Gunther quotes the line, while in his pyjamas.
- Robert Schoen book What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew About Judaism: The Preface begins "Kermit the Frog has said that it's not easy being green."
- Articles with reference to the song in their titles were published in American Way (1990), Annual Review of Energy and the Environment (1999; later published in The Earthscan Reader in Business and the Environment), Harvard Business Review (1994), Newsweek (1990), Voice Literary Supplement.
- World of Warcraft, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, gives every race and gender of that race (Which there's ten) a set order of jokes, silly phrases, and pop culture references that obviously break the fourth wall. the Orc male has green skin and their race, male and female, are outcasts from several races in Azeroth. appropriately fitting, one of their pop culture phrases is, "It's not easy being green."
- ALF, Season one, episode 22: "It ain't easy bein' green".
- It's Not Easy Being Green is the title of a 2006 BBC TV documentary series about a family's attempts to take on a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
- Apple uses the song in an iMac commercial.
- A Weezer shirt issued in 2002 stated "It's not easy being weez" with a photograph of the band and the Muppets. The shirt was based on the video for Weezer's song "Keep Fishin'," which features the Muppets.
- In his comedy special No Cure For Cancer, Denis Leary mentions, in passing, Kermit singing the song at Jim Henson's funeral. However, at that event, the song was performed by Big Bird, not Kermit.
- EDF Energy uses the song, re-recorded by boys from Trinity Boys School in Croydon, for its latest advert on British TV.
- The ER second season episode title "It's not easy being Greene" is a reference to the song (with the extra E)