Sirius Songwriters' Greatest Hits from Sesame Street

Click on the images or titles below to sample some of the most popular songs Sirius Thinking's composers and lyricist have written for Sesame Street over the years. Or, for an even wider selection, check out the "Mane Hits" Playlist on You Tube, available here.


"Put Down the Duckie"

Sirius co-founders Chris Cerf and Norman Stiles wrote this song to help kids understand that, to complete one task effectively, one sometimes has to lay aside another one for awhile. As Norman tells it, ""I came up with the idea for “Put Down the Duckie” one night while eating dinner by myself at a restaurant. The phrase, 'You’ve got to put down the duckie if you want to play the saxophone,' came to mind after one vodka on the rocks. Chris Cerf and I wrote the whole lyric around a week later and then he wrote that great tune. The idea to include cuts of celebs came soon after it was recorded and shot. Any celebrity who came to do Sesame Street did their version. I got goose bumps when Ladysmith Black Mambazo  did it."


"Monster in the Mirror"

This song, co-written by Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles, features Grover, who, upon seeing the image of monster in his mirror (his own reflection!), overcomes his fear by singing out, "Wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo!" The celebrity-studded animation was created by Jim Blashfield, famous for the music videos he produced and directed for, among others, Talking Heads ('And She Was"), Paul Simon ("The Boy in the Bubble"). and Michael Jackson ('Leave Me Alone").


"Dance Myself to Sleep"

Ernie's dancing, bugle-playing, method of falling asleep -- aided by a chorus line of sheep -- is not exactly Bert's idea of the key to a quiet night's repose. "Dance Myself to Sleep," with music by Christopher Cerf, and lyrics co-written by Cerf and Norman Stiles, has been reprised many times on Sesame Street. The version presented here is the original.



This early classic (1974) was one of the first two Cerf-Stiles collaborative songwriting efforts to appear on Sesame Street. (The other was "Danger"). "Exit" was performed by Chrissy and the Alphabeats as a follow-up to their groundbreaking first appearance on the show (singing "Count It Higher"). Chris Cerf performed the lead vocal and played the piano for "Exit," while  legendary Muppeteer Richard Hunt provided the backup vocals.


"Rebel L"

Lyricist Sarah Durkee teamed up with Chris Cerf to create this parody of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell." The Billy Idol look-alike character was performed by Richard Hunt, while Cerf and Ivy Austin – famed, among other things, for her contributions to Prairie Home Companion – supplied the vocals for the Rebel L and policeperson, respectively.


"Healthy Food"

Cookie Monster channels his inner Run DMC in this surprising paean to nutritious comestibles. Chris Cerf wrote the music and lyrics, and the amazing puppet performance was, of course, provided by the one and only Frank Oz.