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A Boy And His Frog

Words and Music: © 1990 by Tom Smith
Jim Henson was a hero of mine. He was creative, he was loving, he made his living helping children learn and making people laugh. It is a wonderful tribute to his talent and power that, when NPR played an old interview with him and Kermit, you could hear the announcer's sad little smile when he apologized for the vocal quality: the sound man had miked the frog. When Mr. Henson died, I had to do something -- and I had to do it quickly, because MarCon was in three days. In a fitting burst of weirdness, this song was written on The Steps at the MarCon hotel, while the con was going on around me, and immediately after writing "Bimbo Wizard". I went back up to the hotel room, sang it until I could sing it twice without breaking down, then did my concert, and broke down anyway. That was my first standing ovation. The song won a Pegasus award for Best Filk Song in 1991, and helped me to also win Best Performer and Best Songwriter awards that year. This is my dad's favorite song of mine. But I think and hope no one will be offended if I say that I wish it had never been necessary for me to write it. We miss you, Jim.

Life is unfair, so they tell me,
Because they think I wouldn't know.
They only can see a cheap gimmick
On their children's favorite show.

They say, "Oh, that's just foam and a wire,
Attached to a green velvet sleeve,
Anyone can do that" -- well, that's true, I suppose,
But who else could make them believe?

What can I say without you there to guide me?
How else am I supposed to give?
How can I sing without you there beside me?
How else am I supposed to live?

You could never just do the expected,
I was just an idea in a bog,
But you sewed up your dream and we made quite a team,
Jim and Kermit, a boy and his frog.

It was me, Rolph, and you, but I think that he knew
There was something that you and I had.
The magic we made just kept growing,
And none of it ever was bad.

Then came Ernie and Scooter and Gonzo,
Doctor Teeth, Cookie Monster, and more.
But now all of those voices are silent,
And I want to go on... but what for?

No one can make me what you did,
No one could walk in your shoes,
Nothing can make me forget you,
But that's not a thing that I'd choose.

I can't just let it be over,
And you wouldn't want it that way,
So I'll stand up and I'll face it,
And, though not quite in your voice, I'll say:

I will go on without you there to guide me,
There's so much more I can give.
Whenever I sing, you will be there beside me,
As long as I keep you, you'll live.

We just wanted to make people happy,
I was always much more than your toy.
I will never regret and I'll never forget
What we had,
I'll miss you, Dad,
This frog and his boy.

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