Foofing about on YouTube the other day, as one does, and I was amazed by how much stuff there is that isn't music videos (grammar). Thank god that out there somewhere are people as nerdy as me (but in a different way), joyfully uploading every crackly VHS tape of Blake's 7 or Button Moon (although try as I may, I can't find a clip of Avon snarling "Hit that button... NOW!!"), uploading their entire 1960s record collection, and having to illustrate it with a two and a half minute shot of the record sleeve or, odder still, the stereo equaliser, because items such as "You Don't Have To Be a Baby to Cry" by the Caravelles are too old to have a video. AAAAAAnyway - While searching for Kermit singing "It Isn't Easy Being Green", a truly sweet and poignant little hymn to self-acceptance that, even at the age of 5, made me want to hug him, I came across this...
...which took me right back to being a small child again. I grew up (till the age of 8, anyway) in Canada, and Sesame Street was the flat-out all-round best thing ever. This, people, is how I know my three times table, and even these days I still sing "3, 6, 9... 12, 15, 18..." when counting something in threes. I never had a problem with turning thirty because as far as I'm concerned, Thirty is the big strong scary one you wouldn't mess with.
I have no idea how they managed to be so educational without being obvious or preachy, because children know when they're getting a nasty spoonful of education in a sugar coating - somehow they just seemed to make it effortless and fun. I could still sing you the theme tune, although given that I've forgotten the second verse of "O Canada" that's probably just a sign of a selective memory rather than a highly-developed one.
Far more arcane, as childhood TV habits go, are the all-but-forgotten Kid Power, which I can still also sing the theme tune from, The Osmonds, which implanted forever in a geek pub-quiz way the names of all the Osmond brothers but for unknown reasons missed Marie out altogether, and The Jackson 5ive, similar, but in hindsight far creepier. What was with the cartoonising of pop bands in the 70s? Was it supposed to simultaneously render them more popular and less sexy? Thank god they never thought of doing that with Gary Glitter.
Thank you for reading! This episode of "Life Happens Between Books" was brought to you by the letter N and the number three. "Sunny day, chasin' the clouds away... on my way to where the air is sweet..."