The Rainbow Connection

A few years ago, I bought an old record player at a thrift store. I had been looking for one for some time, and was glad I found this one. It doesn’t work all that well, you can sort of hear a bump in rhythm when it plays, like it is off balance or something, but I love the character it adds. I’m not a hipster or anything, I just liked the novelty of having an old record player. I bought it after my grandparents died because one of my strangest memories of going to their house in Kansas was going into the back room and listening to old records on their record player. It was mostly gospel music and weird things, but I always remember watching the records spin and watching the needle follow the grooves of those old vinyls. I’d sit on their old blue couch, crank up the Gaithers or something, and just do my own thing.

So now, when I listen to my records, I always find myself back on that old blue couch. I don’t have a great collection of records because I don’t records just to have them, I like to have records that go a little deeper. Some of my all time favorite albums ever I own on vinyl, like the soundtrack to the movie “Once”, Mumford and Sons, and so on. I have some blues records, and a couple Willie Nelson albums. There is a certain kind of music that just sounds better on vinyl, and even better on my old record player.

But if you asked me what my all time favorite song is, I’d walk over to my record crate and dust off an album and play track one. That album would be the soundtrack to “The Muppet Movie”, and that song would be “The Rainbow Connection”. Before you chuckle that my favorite song is a Muppet song sung by Kermit the Frog, you should at least give it a listen…(lyrics after the jump)

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?

And what’s on the other side?

Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,

And rainbows have nothing to hide.

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it,

I know they’re wrong, wait and see.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,

The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered,

when wished on the morning star?

Somebody thought of that,
and someone believed it,
and look what it’s done so far.

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

And what do we think we might see?

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,

the lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell,
we know that it’s probably magic….
Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.

Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?

The voice might be one and the same.

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.

It’s something that I’m supposed to be.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,

the lovers, the dreamers and me.

When I was a kid during the summer my brother and I would beg my mom to let us play in the sprinkler. I can’t think of a better form of entertainment for a child than to run around and get wet. It was one of those sprinklers that they made a dance move out of, it would shoot out water in spurts across the yard as it moved in a half circle, and then when it reached the end it would wind back up and do it all of over again. When it was in the wind up, the water would spray thinner and higher, and if you caught it at just the right angle you could see a rainbow. I did as any child would do, I chased the rainbow, I tried to grab on to it, tried to hold it. But that’s not how rainbows work, and I think that’s what Kermit is trying to say to us in this song.

On a deeper level, I think he is connecting us to that old Wizard of Oz song as well, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, in a sense that there is something mystical about the unknown. Rainbows are really just illusions, a trick played on us by light, but at the same time rainbows are a very real thing, a thing we desire to be connected to. Rainbows are often linked to dreams and aspirations of who we want to be; what we could become. We all have this desire inside of us to find ourselves, but even more so we have this crazy desire to find ourselves outside of ourselves, to find ourselves beyond the realms of imagination and gravity.

And if you’re like Kermit (and me), you believe that one day we will find it.
Call it God, call it what you want, but there is something inside of us that is calling us to be greater than what we are and greater than we could ever hope to be. Some will ignore it, and some will spend their whole life chasing after it.

I think I connect tot his song because there is something mystical about it, it reminds me of how I’m chasing after God and questioning the whole thing. God, being the rainbow, and I, the little frog with a banjo, am just trying to find the connection between us both. The problem is miles and miles of separation, and the fact that if I ever actually found the rainbow and were close enough to touch it, I wouldn’t be able to, it would just be a mist that would disappear as soon as I tried.

I don’t think God exactly works like that, like we spend x amount of years chasing Him only to find Him and have him disappear on us like a ghost, but I think He reveals himself to us, and reveals ourselves to ourselves, when He does do it. Like I’ve said 1,000 times before, it’s not the destination that God always desires, it’s the journey, it’s the companionship, it’s the desire to be desired. God never actually leaves us, even when we chase our tails looking for Him, he is always right there. Sort of like a rainbow, it’s always really there in a way, the circumstances just have to be right in order for you to see it, to see its glory.

So when we are frustrated with life, and we shake our fist at the heavens, we have to find comfort in the words of Kermit as he says, “Who said that every wish, would be heard and answered…”. We won’t always get what we want or think we need, live will rarely be as easy as you hope, but the people who desire the connection with God and further the connection to the person God wants you to be, will be rewarded not with gifts and crowns and jewels, but with peace and wisdom and above all…grace.

Kermit is just trying to tap into the very same thing men and women have been trying to tap into since the very beginning…What is going on here? And who am I in all of this?

The answer is a little over our heads, just like a rainbow.