I can hardly believe I’d forgotten about the Alligator King and His Seven Sons.
I’m a child of the Seventies, raised on now vintage Sesame Street. Back when Sesame Street was a bit darker. You know, not so cute, the pre-Elmo days, when the only one referring to himself in the third person was Cookie Monster.
It was all a bit rougher around the edges (check out Old School Sesame Street if you don’t believe me) but still kid-friendly and my friends and I loved it.
In fact, I loved the whole PBS line-up: Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Electric Company, and Zoom. Like just about everyone I knew, I wanted to be Bernadette so that I could do that cool thing with my hands and arms.
So recently my son and I sat down to the 25th Anniversary Sesame Street DVD and onto the screen came my long-lost but still beloved Alligator King. I’ve been singing it ever since, especially one of the last lines: “Said the Alligator King to his seventh son, “My son, you win the crown. You didn’t bring me diamonds or rubies, but you helped me up when I was down.”
It truly is vintage Sesame Street: engaging animation and characters, with a simple but important message. And while my son doesn’t quite get why I keep singing the song over and over, he and I are both smiling about it.