Big Bird Is Safe! A Musical Look at Our Feathered Friend's Emotional Journey This Election | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Big Bird Is Safe! A Musical Look at Our Feathered Friend's Emotional Journey This Election

Last night our local booty bass hero and sometime politician, Luther Campbell, tweeted these four simple words: "Big Bird is safe."

To some, Big Bird seemed like a joke or a distraction from the "real issues" of the campaign. But Big Bird represented something much larger: Sesame Street. This is a place where children are safe and they learn good, helpful shit, like the alphabet and numbers. It's a diverse location, with ladies named Maria who sing. On this block, the arts and ethics rule. Sesame Street looks like a partially animated version of America these days, and it represents a lot of what's important to mothers and fathers. Big Bird ain't just a meme, he's a feathered fem dude who taught us how to read. 

Tomorrow, a hurricane is going to hit Sesame Street just like Sandy pummeled the Northeast recently. There'll probably be a slew of celebs on there and maybe even information on how to donate to the storm's victims. How could you cut funding on that?! Anyway, now that Big Bird is safe, we can take a musical journey back through the past few months and look at how our feathered friend must have felt about this whole election. 

10. Neko Case - "Maybe Sparrow"
Big Bird first entered the campaign when mentioned by Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate. His words were: "I'm sorry Jim, I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I like PBS, I actually love Big Bird. I like you too, but I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for." 

This led America's mothers to ask themselves: "Will the rest of America hear these words? Is it too late?" 

9. The Byrds - "You Don't Miss Your Water"
These were Big Bird's darkest hours. If Romney were to be elected, where would Big Bird live? How would he eat? Food's plentiful (though not free) on Sesame Street. But on the real streets of an uneducated, Tea Bagger Romney America, where would a huge, not very masculine yellow fowl find work? America would miss its Big Bird if he were gone. That, he knew.  

8. R. Kelly - "I Believe I Can Fly"
But all hope wasn't lost. An outpouring of support for Sesame Street and Big Bird on the internet and IRL gave hope that PBS would continue to soar, fly, and stuff. 

7. Eels - "I Like Birds"
America responded to Romney: I LIKE BIRDS!

6. Pulp - "The Birds in Your Garden" 
Much like this tune, the issue was an emotional one for voters. Would Big Bird be silenced? 

5. The Trashmen - "Surfin' Bird"
There wasn't a person in this country or any other that hadn't heard the squawking about this presidential election. Everyone on the internet definitely had a favorite Sesame Street or Big Bird Meme. 

4. Steve Miller Band - "Fly Like An Eagle"
This made Big Bird feel big and loved! Maybe Big Bird's wings can't carry his gigantic physique through the air, but he represents this nation as much as the bald eagle. 

3. Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird"
And "Free Bird"'s here because, well, "FREE BIRD!"

2. The Beatles - "Free as a Bird"
Then the country voted. And as the numbers came in, the smell of victory wafted through Sesame Street. The residents on that inner-city block breathed a sigh of relief, though Count von Count could have helped out Florida a little with their ballots...

1. Bob Marley - "Three Little Birds"
Finally, everything would be all right on Sesame Street, and Big Bird remains a teacher and friend to children everywhere. 

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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.
Contact: Liz Tracy

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