Song In My Head #89: Chrissy and the Alphabeats’ “One Way”

While this song has not aired on Sesame Street for many years (and, given its startlingly dark opening verse, I can understand why), I’m convinced it may be the best one in the show’s history. Featuring music by Sam Pottle and lyrics by Christopher Cerf, 1977’s “One Way” tweaks the Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack” to explore heartbreak via traffic sign. Cerf always sings Chrissy’s songs with total conviction, but his performance here is exceptionally raw and heartrending. (It always upset me that the Chrissy Muppet didn’t sing the song on the show. I imagine that Sesame Street was trying to capitalize on Happy Days’ success with the Fonzie-esque Muppet they featured.) What makes the song for me is the “Beauty School Dropout”-style appearance of the guardian angel (winsomely portrayed by Jerry Nelson) halfway through. (My heart always soared whenever an art history professor used a wooden pointer to explain a slide in college, and I know that this sequence is the reason.) Prepare to be stunned…


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