Saturday Memory: Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

Who is with me on this one?

Jim Henson created this from a children’s book. It aired on HBO in 1978 and then on ABC in 1980. I was 8 and we might have had HBO in 1978, but it is more likely that I saw it on ABC in 1980. I have no idea why it stayed with me – perhaps just the combination of charming story, lovely music and terrific puppeteering?

The story is very powerful and yet so simple – the love between a mother and her son. They both make poor choices that seem destined to cost them dearly, but they come out stronger and more tightly bound than ever before. Perhaps that love was more genuine than what I saw on “real” TV. I do remember thinking the show was a little like “The Ten Commandments” (which we watched every Easter) and a little like “The Waltons” and “Little House on the Prairie.” Go ahead and parse that combination.

In Our World/Brothers*
Music and lyrics by Paul Williams

We’re closer now than ever before
(How much alike we are; perhaps we’re long lost brothers)
There’s love in our world and we’re showing it more
(We even think the same; you know there may be others)

Our world says, “Welcome, stranger”
Everybody’s a friend
(We can always use a friend)
Favorite stories don’t end
(Welcome, brother)
In our world

Some say our world is getting too small
(So many things to learn, but we’ll enjoy each lesson)
I say, with kindness, there’s room for us all
(Problems don’t worry us when half the fun is guessing)

Our world is always changing
Everyday’s a surprise
(Live a lifetime of surprise)
Love can open your eyes
(Brother, look around)
In our world

When night lays sad upon you
Go watch a simple sunrise
(See wonder in your eyes)
Love can open your eyes
(Welcome, brother)
To our world

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