The Sesame Street Lyrics Quiz

Bambi Turner

Image: PBS/HBO

About This Quiz

On May 1, 2019, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio installed a new street sign in his city, officially naming a section of West 63rd Street as Sesame Street. The honor came on the 50th anniversary of the beloved children's show, which made its debut in 1969. While the original goal of its creators was to help prepare disadvantaged kids for kindergarten, "Sesame Street" has spent the past half-century shaping kids from all walks of life. 

Not only does this series teach kids practical things like how to recognize letters, numbers, shapes and colors, but it also exposes young people to advanced topics like community, diversity and grief in an age-appropriate way, preparing them to face the complexities of modern life. Yet the series is so much more than just an educational experience, tucking all of these lessons into fun stories starring beloved characters, and puppets who can relate to kids in a different way than a human cast ever could. 

Of course, anyone who has ever seen this show knows that it includes plenty of music, from classics like "Sunny Day" and "C is for Cookie" to more obscure earworms like "Mahna Mahna" and "Elmo's Song." If we give you a bunch of "Sesame Street" lyrics, do you think you could fill in the missing words or phrases? Prove it with this quiz!

"Sunny day, Sweeping the _____ away, On my way to where the air is sweet"

It's always a sunny day on "Sesame Street," where the show's opening theme invites viewers to sweep the clouds away and take a few breaths of that sweet Street air. This tune has opened the show since its 1969 premiere, which means your parents probably know the lyrics as well as you do.

"It's not easy bein' _____, It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things"

In "Bein' Green," Kermit the Frog laments how his particular hue can make it hard to stand out from all the other green in the world, from grass to trees and more. While this classic has been around since 1970, long-time viewers might remember Kermit performing a duet of "Bein' Green" with Ray Charles in a 1989 TV special.

"Sing, Sing a song, Make it _____, To last your whole life long"

According to "Sesame Street," it only takes a simple song to create a tune that will make all your neighbors want to join in. While Bob the music teacher and his pal Miguel first performed "Sing" in 1971, it actually became a mainstream hit when The Carpenters did a cover in 1973 that shot up the Billboard charts.

"He'd frown a bunch, he ate _____ for lunch, and he'd never laugh"

These lyrics come from the song "Nasty Dan," performed by none other than Johnny Cash himself on a season five episode. Cash sang the song to Oscar the Grouch, crooning on about how Dan ate nails for lunch and eventually married an equally offensive gal named Nasty Pearl.

"Yes, I want to visit _____, but I don't think I'd like to live there"

Believe it on not, "Sesame Street" premiered the very same year that man first stepped foot on the moon, so it's no wonder lunar tunes appeared in many episodes. In season 15, a reflective Ernie determined that while he would be happy to visit the moon, making a permanent move would leave him lonely for his friends.

"_____ you're the one, You make bath time lots of fun"

What would a bath be without a rubber duckie for company? Devoted "Sesame Street" fans will know that Ernie has maintained a tight bond with his favorite bath toy since the very first season of the show. The song was even nominated for a Grammy in 1971, but lost to another tune from the series.

"Now in my hour of darkness there's a sound I know will comfort me....It's _____"

This song devoted to the sounds of the Letter B actually got "Sesame Street" in hot water in the '80s. Northern Songs, who owned The Beatles catalog at the time, filed a lawsuit alleging that the tune was too similar to "Let It Be." Things were cleared up a few years later, when Michael Jackson bought the rights to the songs and licensed them to "Sesame Street" for a token price of $50.

"Even though it makes them mad, Cause kids like you and me baby, We were born to _____"

It was Bruce Stringbean and the S Street Band who debuted "Born to Add" on a season 11 episode of the series. The parody of "Born to Run" by the Boss even managed to sneak in a reference to the Jersey Shore among its lyrics about counting and adding.

"Here stands your heartbroken groom, Wedding bells ring out all over the block, But the signs says _____"

Look, when the sign says "Don't Walk," you have to wait to cross the street, OK? Even if you're a puppet waiting to marry your beautiful bride ... who happens to be waiting at the church across the street.

"We all sing _____, The same song, And we sing in harmony"

"We All Sing with the Same Voice" premiered on a season 14 episode of "Sesame Street" in 1981. Featuring a group of kids coming together on a playground in NYC, the tune reminded children that we can all live in harmony no matter our name, our looks or where we come from.

"Oh I love _____, Anything dirty or dingy or dusty, Anything ragged or rotten or rusty"

Bet you could guess that a Grouch who lives in a garbage can is a huge fan of trash in any form, from an old shoe to rotten fish to rusty musical instruments. This Oscar song dates back to the very first episode of the series, when our favorite Grouch was orange, rather than his trademark green.

"Can you tell me which thing is not like the others, Before I _____"

"One of These Things is Not Like the Others" is a long-running "Sesame Street" classic that has taken on many variations. One common theme is that the singer usually asks viewers to spot what's different among a group of objects, letters, numbers or shapes before he or she finishes the song.

"C is for _____, That's good enough for me"

If we told you this was a Cookie Monster song, could you guess that the missing word is cookie? While the point of the song "C is for Cookie" is to list a bunch of stuff that starts with C, your favorite monster really only cares about one of those things, and it's not cars or cats. Of course, times do change, so even Cookie Monster had to learn that cookies are a sometimes food in a lesson from Hoots the Owl in season 36.

"This is the song, La la la la, _____ song"

Long before parents were swapping punches in toy stores to score a Tickle Me Elmo, this furry red muppet was singing "Elmo's Song" on "Sesame Street." The song debuted in 1989, and Elmo even taught Big Bird and Snuffy how to substitute their names for his to make tunes of their own.

"Don't go changing, Just to please me, Cause being _____ is not your style."

Billy Joel had a huge hit in the '70s with "Just the Way You Are," but he switched things up on this classic love song when singing it to Oscar the Grouch in an '80s episode of "Sesame Street." As Marlee Matlin signed the words, Joel admitted that being friendly just wasn't Oscar's style. Kermit and Sheena Easton also performed a duet of the tune in 1983.

"The postman always brings the mail, Through rain or snow or sleet or hail, Cause a postman is _____"

"Sesame Street" had something in common with "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" in that both taught kids to recognize and celebrate the people who made up their communities. In this "Street" song, kids learn that the postman is "a person in your neighborhood, a person that you meet each day."

"People may smile but I don't mind, They'll never understand the kind of fun I have, 'Doin the _____"

Any longtime "Sesame Street" fan knows that Bert is a huge fan of pigeons. In fact, he even attends the Pigeon Convention in Peoria from time to time. The first time Bert did his trademark pigeon dance was way back in the '70s.

"Everybody sing now, Rock rock rock, The _____"

A muppet band known as Little Jerry and the Monotones showed up in season six to sing "Telephone Rock" while cramming themselves into a phone booth and annoying the operator. It might be "the latest thing" according to the song's lyrics, but the operator was not impressed by the harassment, calling the cops to take the phone booth-cramming muppets to the slammer.

"Saw a _____ when I woke up today...He said wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo"

Grover saw a monster in the mirror in a 1990 episode of "Sesame Street," but your favorite lovable monster didn't let it bother him. He just made up a silly wubba wubba phrase because that monster was so silly. The tune is reminiscent of the classic 1971 book "The Monster at the End of This Book."

"U do me wrong now, _____, U really got a hold on me"

Smokey Robinson transformed his classic Miracles tune into a kid-friendly favorite in a 1985 episode of "Sesame Street." Paired up with a giant letter "U" puppet, Robinson did his best to stay clear of the very friendly Ms. U, who had quite a strong grip on the iconic singer.

"We are all _____, Spinning around together, On a planet of the Sun"

"Sesame Street" always worked to help kids find their similarities rather than their differences, pointing out that even if we have nothing else in common, we are all Earthlings! The song was originally an Elmo tune, but got a breath of fresh air thanks to a 2002 performance by R&B artist Jill Scott.

"He's a _____, He likes to hop in the tropical sea, A frog in a coconut tree"

Where else would a Caribbean amphibian like Kermit hang out other than a coconut tree? This mellow tune debuted in the mid-'80s and even got the Jimmy Buffett treatment in 1998 on the "Sesame Street Elmopalooza" special.

"The _____ Man, That's me, How'd you like to blow your top, Dig yourself some fine ree-bop"

Legendary jazz band leader Cab Calloway was the perfect fit for "Sesame Street," as demonstrated by his season 12 appearance on the show. The Hi-De-Ho Man himself did a boppin' duet with a purple Two-Headed Monster with a backing band of muppets.

"If ever I find out what this word can mean, I'll be the smartest _____ the world has ever seen"

In his song "ABC-DEF-GHI," Big Bird declared that he would be the smartest bird in the world if he could ever learn to pronounce that 26-letter word that started with A and ended with Z. His trademark tune first appeared in season one of the show, and Big Bird also did a performance of the song on "The Flip Wilson Show" in 1970.

"We're gonna honk beep honk around the ______, One two three four, Honk honk honk honk"

A family of four muppets known as The Honkers did their own beepin' version of "Honk Around the Clock" on a 1982 episode of the series. While the title sounds a lot like "Rock Around the Clock," the tune actually had more of a "Runaround Sue" melody. In later seasons, the Count often performed this song.

"So la de da de dum, La de da de dum, What's the name of this _____?"

"What's the Name of This Song?" premiered in 1974 and was sung by the entire human cast, as well as Oscar and Big Bird. It showed up in various forms later in the series, its familiar "la de da de dum" chorus etched into the memories of generations of viewers.

"Hey _____, We've found that you're so healthful and nutritious, By the ounce or by the pound, Glad you're around"

Sung to the tune of "Hey Jude" by The Beatles, "Hey Food" was a "Sesame Street" tribute to all kinds of chow. Sung by Cookie Monster and a muppet band called The Beetles, the tune mentioned foods from meat to fish to cheese, bread and even veggies.

"Ah yes, I used to fret a lot and fidget until I met that dazzling digit, I just adore _____"

The Count ain't the only muppet who enjoys numbers; Big Bird was also a digit fan, as demonstrated in his song "I Just Adore Four." The tune debuted in 1975 as Big Bird hosted "The Number 4 Show" on a season six episode of the series.

"In the still of the night, I stretch and I yawn and I breathe real deep and I _____"

Forget warm milk and sheep counting ... when Ernie needs to get to sleep, he gets up and dances! The song first showed up in the early '80s, with Ernie and his Boogie Woogie Sheep pals keeping poor Bert awake with all that singing and dancing.

"Faster, faster, it's so exciting, I could _____ until I drop"

Any "Sesame Street" fan knows that the show's resident vampire is a huge fan of counting. The Bela Lugosi-inspired Count first sang this song in the early '70s, when he was so eager to count that he knocked over Ernie's block pyramid so he could tally the blocks.

"We'd be worse off without it, No doubt about it, Stand up and shout it, _____ is no fun!"

When you're a kid, you hear the word "no" a lot, a fact which "Sesame Street" acknowledged with "The Word is No" on a late '80s episode. The tune, which talked about all the time kids might hear this two-letter word, was first performed by human characters Gina and Mason.

"If ____ was cookie, Me think me would be, The happiest monster, You've ever seen"

If you really think about it, the moon kind of does look like a cookie, but this is especially true to Cookie Monster, who sees cookies everywhere he goes. In a 1982 episode, the big blue monster ponders whether he would eat a cookie moon or choose to leave it there to illuminate the sky. You might also remember a 2005 performance of this song when astronaut Buzz Aldrin made an appearance on "Sesame Street."

"Put down the _____, If you wanna play the saxophone"

It's pretty hard to play a saxophone if you're holding a rubber duckie ... just ask Ernie, who learned this lesson via song in a 1986 episode. Elmo and comedian Ellen DeGeneres did their own version of the tune during season 27 in the '90s.

"Ma mo mana mo, _____, ba dee bedebe"

The classic "Mahna Mahna" song may sound like nonsense, but it's one of the more memorable songs to appear on the series. Jim Henson actually debuted this tune on a 1969 episode of "The Ed Sullivan Show," and it was also included in the premiere episode of "Sesame Street" that same year.

"I said I'll taste it, I'll give it a whirl, And now I am a _____ girl"

Sung to the tune of Madonna's "Material Girl," the song "Cereal Girl" tells the story of a female muppet who has never tried cereal before. Of course, with the very first bite of this breakfast favorite, the girl becomes an instant fan in this song that debuted in a 1990 episode.

"Mercy is that the best you can do, You've got to _____, I'd like to know who told you you could stop at three"

Don't just go with the standard one, two, threes; If you wanna make friends on "Sesame Street," you gotta "Count It Higher." This song first appeared on a 1973 episode in season 5, where it was performed by Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats, with lyrics teaching kids to count all the way to 10.

"Good, and are all you kids ready? Now, everybody _____!"

"Everybody Wash!" is one of those "Sesame Street" tunes that has been around since the very first episode. Sung by Ernie with some help from Bert, it teaches kids to get clean all over, from kneecaps to tummies.

"Who's always handy when I need me, Firm as a feather in all kinds of weather, Me me _____"

In "Wonderful Me," Big Bird celebrates all of his own best qualities. The song that debuted in a 1977 episode of "Sesame Street" teaches kids to recognize their own strengths and build their confidence and self-esteem.

"Then I push a little button, And I open the door, Then I close it right away, Cause there is no room for more, I'm the _____ elevator operator"

Today's kids might not understand the concept, but there was a time when elevators had operators to make the lift go up and down safely. On a '90s episode of "Sesame Street," viewers met the Elephant Elevator Operator, who was so big that he couldn't actually carry any passengers with him inside the tiny space.

"I've got five _____, And there's not one of them I'd swap"

"Five People in My Family" first appeared on a season one episode of the series, when music teacher Gordon sang it along with a group of muppets. Since then, it's taken on a bunch of variations, including counting the five fingers on a hand, or the five members of a monster family.

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