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.

Want to sing along? Alligator King lyrics are here, or you could go one step further and check out the original on YouTube. Do it. Without doubt it will cheer you up if you’re feeling down!

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