'Sesame Street' Songwriter Bruce Hart Dies

The entertainment world has lost Bruce Hart, a lyricist who helped pen the words to the Sesame Street theme song, as well as the song "Free to Be... You and Me." Hart died this week at 68, succumbing to lung cancer.

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(Soundbite of Sesame Street theme music)

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

If you were born pretty much anytime in the last 35 years, this song is probably burned into your memory.

Unidentified Children: (Singing) Sunny day sweepin' the clouds away, on my way to where the air is sweet. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? Come and play. Everything's A-OK...

ELLIOTT: Bruce Hart, one of the lyricists responsible for this Sesame Street theme song, died this week at the age of 68. Hart had been a writer for the Candid Camera television series in the 1960s. In 1969 the producers of a new children's show hired him and his wife to write lyrics and skits. That show was Sesame Street, and though Hart left after the first season, the theme song has endured for decades.

(Soundbite of song Free To Be You And Me)

ELLIOTT: The Sesame Street theme was not Bruce Hart's only contribution to children's entertainment.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) There's a land that I see where the children are free, and I say it ain't far to this land from where we are. Take my hand, come with me where the children are free...

ELLIOTT: He also wrote the lyrics to Free To Be You and Me, another educational children's classic from the 70s. The record and later the TV special was the brainchild of actress Marlo Thomas, who wanted to teach her young niece that boys and girls could be whatever they wanted to be.

(Soundbite of the song Free to Be You and Me)

ELLIOTT: Writer and lyricist died this week at his home in New York City. He was 68.

(Soundbite of the song Free to Be You and Me)

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