“You’re Gonna Be a Star”

Lyrics

(sung by Big Bird)

You’re gonna be a star
Shining in the sky
Bright and proud, way up high

You’re gonna be a star
Somewhere in the blue
There’s a spot just for you

The moon will be there beside you
When everyone’s counting sheep
A fluffy white cloud will hide you
Whenever you go to sleep

A shiny little star
Is what you’re gonna be
Just you wait and see

[spoken] Why don’t you sing it along with me, okay?

You’re gonna be a star
          [Sahu] I’m gonna be a star
Shining in the sky
          [Sahu] Shining in the sky
Bright and proud
          [Sahu] Bright and proud
[together]
Way up high

You’re gonna be a star
          [Sahu] I’m gonna be a star
Somewhere in the blue
          [Sahu] Somewhere in the blue
There’s a spot just for you

At night when the sky is clearing
You’ll talk to the other stars
I’ll bet you’ll be overhearing
What Jupiter says to Mars

A shiny little star
          [Sahu] A shiny little star
Is what you’re gonna be
          [Sahu] Is what I’m gonna be
[together] Just you wait and see

 

Music and lyrics by Tony Geiss


“You’re Gonna Be a Star” from Don’t Eat the Pictures

For years, I thought this was just a sweet song, almost lullaby-like. I’m just now realizing how odd it is that Big Bird is helping a child die and comforting him about the afterlife. And he’s not comforting Sahu because Sahu is scared of the afterlife; no, Sahu is worried he’ll never get there, and Big Bird is like, of course you’re gonna die! We won’t give up until we help you do it.

Who approved this story line?

Granted, Sesame Street has never shied away from talking about difficult topics, like when Mr. Hooper died, or after September 11, 2001 or Hurricane Katrina.

I wonder if Don’t Eat the Pictures was always intended to have this thread of helping kids understand early death and making the idea less scary. My sister used to volunteer in the cancer ward of a children’s hospital, and now for the first time I’m wondering what media exist to help kids understand this stuff. If I’d trust anyone to make that kind of media, it’d be Sesame Street.

And another (much less important) thing! Sahu has been trapped in the Egyptian tomb for 4000 years, forced to guess the answer to the riddle, “Where does today meet yesterday?” The answer turns out to be “in a museum,” which is cool, but… did museums even exist 4000 years ago? Did ancient Egyptians have museums?

Huh. Reddit says yes, kind of. Carry on.

Okay, but who casts a “spell” (curse, more like) on a six-and-a-half-year-old, forcing him to guess a ridiculous riddle before he can be with his dead parents, all so that he understands the value of museums??

I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

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