Over on his Whatever blog, author John Scalzi poses an interesting philosophical question about the nature of an important scene in ‘The Muppet Movie’. I thought I’d put it to our readers to decide the correct answer.
In his famous song “The Rainbow Connection,” Kermit the Frog sings the following verse:
Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Note the line break in the lyrics and accompanying pause in Kermit’s singing. Scalzi interprets this to mean that Kermit is asking two separate questions:
- Why are there so many songs about rainbows?
- In a related topic, what’s on the other side of rainbows?
On the other hand, many listeners believe that Kermit is asking just one question: Why are there so many songs about what’s on the other side of rainbows?
Do you see the critical distinction?
For my money, I have always believed that Kermit is asking just one question in regard to songs about what’s on the other side of rainbows. In support of this, I have to ask just how many songs there are about rainbows anyway? Excepting this one itself, the only other song about rainbows that I can think of is “Somewhere over the Rainbow” from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, which is indeed about what’s on the other side of rainbows.
What other famous songs about rainbows am I missing? Is Kermit being ironic when he asks “Why are there so many?” when there’s really just the one?
How do you read his lyrics?