|Written by||Jeff Moss|
"Rubber Duckie" is Ernie's signature song, a tribute to his beloved Rubber Duckie. The song enjoyed popular fame, reaching number 16 on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart in 1970. It was even nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children, but it lost to The Sesame Street Book & Record, which also contains the song.
In the original version, which first aired in episode 0078, Ernie sang the song in a bathtub in a room that resembled his living room. A brief clip from this version was included in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years.
Jeff Moss squeaked a duckie during the original recording, and has squeaked the duck in allsubsequent Rubber Duckie recordings. The same Rubber Duckie has been used because nobody could find a duckie that could match the sound of the original.
In the second season, a new version of the song was filmed, in which Ernie sang in a bathtub in a bathroom with a plain blue background (First: Episode 0136). This seems to be the most famous and commonly seen version. It was included in many videos, including Sing Along and a partially-Hebrew version in the Shalom Sesame episode "The Land of Israel". Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting featured this segment, with portions dubbed into many different languages. This version was also featured in Sesame Street Unpaved, and before that documentary aired, Noggin's website included this and four other skits for fans to vote on, and this sketch had the most votes.
In 1974, Ernie sang the song as "El Patito," with a new Latin arrangement, translation by Wyatt Day, and Spanish-language vocals by Jim Henson. This version was released on the album ¡Sesame Mucho!, and later issued as a single backed with the original English version in 1976.
A new version of "Rubber Duckie" with Ernie was filmed in the 1990s, using the original recording with Jim Henson as Ernie (First: Episode 3842). Similarly, the same track was also used for a film segment showing various kids taking baths (First: Episode 3811). Ernie has also sung lines from the song in a few segments, including one where he prepares for a bath (EKA: Episode 0269), and in a sketch where Ernie and Bert travel to Egypt, where Ernie soon gets joined by a statue who resembles Ernie. The sketch "Best Friend Blues" begins with Hoots the Owl asking Ernie if he wants to sing "Rubber Duckie." An instrumental version of the song is heard during a 1996 sketch staring Grover and Mr. Johnson in a department store.
Ernie's not the only one to perform the song. Bob McGrath recorded a cover version in 1991 for the Bob's Favorite Street Songs album. Little Richard also performed a rock-and-roll version of the song for Sesame Street (EKA: Episode 3309). Bert even sang the song once, in a sketch where Ernie wanted Bert to be able to sing to Rubber Duckie whenever Ernie couldn't (EKA: Episode 3887). In a 2002 episode, after Maria fixes Rubber Duckie's squeak, she, Ernie, and Zoe sang the song to celebrate. The Two-Headed Monster sing the song to themselves in a sketch where they take a bath, and in a Journey to Ernie segment. Chris also hums the song while taking a bath in a 2010 episode. On April 14, 2012, Ernie sang the song at the Jim Henson's Musical World concert with Elmo, Bert, Gordon, Bob, Susan, Leela, Gina, Alan, Maria and Cookie Monster.
Ernie sang a verse of the song in the closing "Songs" medley in Elmopalooza. The song is briefly quoted in the score as the medley ends. In a flashback sequence in episode 4067, The Electric Three performed "Rubber Duckie." In celebration of "National Rubber Duckie Day" in 2017, SesameStreet's YouTube Channel published a cover of the song by Daveed Diggs and Ernie. The same week, a cover of the song was featured on Sesame Studios' YouTube channel.
- Audio (Ernie's version)
- The Sesame Street Book & Record (1970)
- Everybody Wash/Rubber Duckie/Rub Your Tummy (single, 1970)
- Rubber Duckie/Sesame Street Theme (single, 1970)
- Ernie's Hits (1974)
- 60 Favorite Songs from Sesame Street (1975)
- 25 Greatest Hits (1975)
- Ernie Sings: Rubber Duckie/El Patito (single, 1976)
- What Time Is It on Sesame Street? (1977)
- 10th Anniversary Album (1978)
- Muppet Masquerade (1978)
- Sesame Street Fever (disco version) (1978)
- Rubber Duckie (disco version)/Doin' the Pigeon (disco version) (single, 1979)
- The Case of the Missing Rubber Duckie (1981)
- Sesame Street Sing-Along (1982)
- The Best of Ernie (1983)
- Favorite Songs From Jim Henson's Muppets (1986)
- The Best of Sesame Street (1987)
- Jim Henson: A Sesame Street Celebration (1991)
- Platinum All-Time Favorites (1995)
- Splish Splash: Bath Time Fun (1995)
- Bert and Ernie's Greatest Hits (1996)
- Sesame Street Best (1997)
- Big Bird's Sunny Day Camp Out (2000)
- Songs from the Street: 35 Years of Music (2003)
- Sunny Days Collection (2012)
- Audio (El Patio's version)
- ¡Sesame Mucho! (1974)
- Ernie Sings: Rubber Duckie/El Patito (single, 1976)
- Bert & Ernie: Side By Side (1981)
- Fiesta Songs (1998)
- Audio (Little Richard's version)
- Audio (Bob's version)
- Video (Season 2 version)
- Shalom Sesame: The Land of Israel (1986, in Hebrew)
- Sing Along (1987)
- Sesame Street's 25th Birthday: A Musical Celebration (1993, clip only)
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland: Sing and Play (1999, with animated on-screen lyrics)
- Sesame English: Mine! (2000, beginning cut)
- Old School: Volume 1 (2006, listed as part of Season 1)
- 40 Years of Sunny Days (2009, also listed as part of Season 1)
- Video (remade version)
- Kids' Favorite Songs 2 (2001, beginning cut, edited with the clips of kids in the bathtubs on second chorus)
- Shalom Sesame: Adventures in Israel (2011, in Hebrew)
- Sesamestreet.org season 2 version Bert's version
- SesameStreet's YouTube Channel season 2 version: Little Richard version: Daveed Diggs version
- Sesame Street Songbook Vol. 1
- The Sesame Street Song Book (1971, 1992 and 2007 editions)
- Songs of Sesame Street (1977)
- The Songs of Sesame Street in Poems and Pictures (1983)
- The Reader's Digest Children's Songbook (1986)
- Favorite Songs from Jim Henson's Muppets (1986)
- Jim Henson: The Works (1993)
- Sesame Street Unpaved (1998)