We humans never are too young to experience wanderlust. Which means it’s perfectly understandable that Sesame Street incorporated “Travel Tips” segments into its shows from the 1980s and 1990s. And that it’s perfectly reasonable for a modern-day family travel blogger to play them for his kids.
This, of course, is what led me this week to share with the girls “Antarctica,” a classic Sesame Street jingle off the “We Are All Earthlings” record from 1990.
I admit it, I’m a HUGE fan of old-school (Jim) Henson stuff. So when the girls expressed interest in them after we got back from London, I hit the archives to find some of the best bits I remembered from my childhood. “Earthlings” was No. 1 on the list. A close No. 2: The tune about the continent at the South Pole, a ditty that originally was advertised as part of the “Sesame Street Travel Tips” series.
Think of the song as a kid-oriented advertisement for a trip to Antarctica. In it, two Anything Muppets team up with a group of penguins to sing about the snowy, icy, and chilly destination where people “dine on blubber spread on toast” and “nights…are six months long.”
All the while, Wolfgang the Seal provides background trumpet music.
In the end, after the warning to not “be left out OF the cold,” all of the characters are blown away by cold arctic winds.
While this may not be a perfect picture of what life on Antarctica is really like, it certainly teaches kids about the destination, and certainly will pique their interest. Just like all age-appropriate travel stories should.
In any event, my girls have heard the song and they love it. Here (embedded) is the video. And below that, in all of their glory, are the lyrics.
If you’re sick of being hot,
Why not try a place that’s not: Antarctica.
Where all you see is snow and ice
The new vacation paradise: Antarctica.
Let seals and penguins be your hosts
And dine on blubber spread on toast
You’ll love the icy barren coasts of Antarctica
Don’t get much sun, it doesn’t matter,
You’ll love the way your teeth will chatter in Antarctica
Nightlife’s great, you can’t go wrong
‘Cause nights down here are six months long in Antarctica
If you like it when it’s snowing
And the icy winds are blowing
Just head south and keep on going to Antarctica
Well there’s no hotel here, hey, just bring a tent
It’s really swell here on the frozen continent.
Want to shudder, shake, and shiver
Come to us, ‘cause we deliver…Antarctica
Put your summer plans on hold
Don’t be left out of the cold of Antarctica
You say the kids are out of school
Forget the beach, forget the pool
It’s really, really, really cool in Antarctica!