Dec. 5 – The Music of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

With nearly the entire internet devoid of Emmet Otter music and video, we present a legally irresponsible solution! Finally: Listen and Download all the timeless songs you love from Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

[I’m republishing this piece from January since not a lot of people saw it, and more importantly, Emmet Otter and The Christmas Toy are now on Netflix Watch Now. WATCH NOW!]

Last years’ Emmet Otter Jug-Band Christmas article was, by far, the most difficult one for me to write. Although the truncated piece finally debuted on December 15th, it was actually the first special I’d watched in preparation to write up weeks before hand. I fell so batshit in love with the Jim Henson classic, forming coherent thoughts about singing puppets became my own personal Amadeus.

Emmet Otter – Intro (right click/save)

Obviously, part of that struggle came from the ridiculously amazing songs by Paul Williams. Even those with the vaguest familiarity with Christmas Special tend to remember at least a lyric or two, right? Remember that hole-less Washtub?

Emmet Otter – The One Bathing Suit (right click/save)

Now, I’m no music critic… and sure, I almost definitely lack the vocabulary to do the songs justice in prose. But most importantly, I also find most writings of that nature tedious and boring, with too much of the author’s personal baggage projected onto a medium most people enjoy on a indescribable, subjective level.

Emmet Otter – Ain’t no Hole in the Washtub (right click/save)

Instead, I really wanted to let you guys HEAR the music of Emmet Otter, for no better reason than they’re unforgettably awesome. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to exist ANYWHERE!

Emmet Otter – When the River Meets the Sea (right click/save)

Through all my research, I found no evidence of any official soundtrack ever, let alone MP3s available for purchase. Plus, YouTube/Henson/Lionsgate/Whomever holds the current rights continuously blocked my attempts to share them with you, which led to further delays.

Emmet Otter – Barbeque (right click/save)

(Oh, I also did my damnedest to find the special’s original air date, which included looking through archived print TV schedules from 1977 with no success. If anybody knows, please pass that info along!)

Emmet Otter – Our World (right click/save)

The stage play and the DVD are virtually the only mediums keeping Emmet Otter’s music alive. And although they both do a great job in preserving the magic, I wanted to make a few of my favorite cuts available for folks who don’t listen to music exclusively through their DVD player or by visiting seasonal theatrical production solely showing in a remote part of the United States (This ain’t 1970, dammit!)

Emmet Otter – Brothers (right click/save)

I don’t maintain any ownership over these tracks, and post them in lieu of NO OTHER OPTION. Should there ever be an official soundtrack release, I’ll remove these tracks post haste.

Emmet Otter – Riverbottom Nightmare Band (right click/save)

And if any of Emmet Otter’s owners/rights holders take issue, let’s try and avoid the lawyers and Internet Police and just please contact me here and I’ll remove do so immediately.

Emmet Otter – Brothers in Our World (right click/save)

Incidentally, that header image at the top is from the original VHS release of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (With Kermit! You can see it in the article.) But I’ve also taken the liberty of adding that as the album art for all of the MP3s on this page. Thought it be a nice treat to see on your iPods and such… you don’t have to thank me.

Emmet Otter – When the River Meets the Sea (credits) (right click/save)

UPDATE: According to my research, only the song “When the River Meets the Sea” has ever been made commercially available, on Volume 2 of the Favorite Songs From Jim Henson’s Muppets record released in 1986. Glad I looked into it – this may very well be the greatest album covers of all time:

Four Muppet factions featured together in a single product… remind anyone else of A Muppet Family Christmas?

PRODUCT INFORMATION (Shop Amazon through us – it helps!)

Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas is available on DVD, albeit with the Kermit footage completely removed. However, the special contains several short sequences that haven’t appeared on other home video releases, and any scene missing is available to watch in the ample bonus features which include a behind-the-scenes documentary and the Outakes video embedded above. Assuming you’re willing to take a chance on Otter, I strongly encourage – no… I beg you, to pick up the version bundled with Jim Henson’s equally stellar Holiday special, The Christmas Toy for just a few pennies more. Oh, and before you go and call Disney mean names for not allowing Kermit to appear in Emmet Otter, I invite you to see what the previous, out-of-print versions featuring the famous Frog are going for on the Amazon Marketplace. You’ll get an idea of what he’s worth.

31 thoughts on “Dec. 5 – The Music of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas

  1. Thank you, thank you so much. I’ve been looking for this music for a while./ I’m surprised to learn there wasn’t even a record of the music made. This has been part of my christmas tradition since I can remember, so it’ll be nice to add this to my christmas playlist!

  2. Thank you so very very much for doing this. I have looked for years for the music to Emmett Otter. I still have the VHS movie from years ago when my son was little. He is 27 years old now. I just listened to these songs and cried. Paul Williams has had some of the most beautiful songs ever. When the River Meets the Sea and Our World are my favorites. I get a lot from music especially the words. Thank you again and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  3. because of your amazing article me and my girlfriend are watching both the musically Christmas otters (not the name i know) and toy story 0 tonight, in preparation for the Muppet movie tomorrow. keep up the good work

  4. Hey, thank you for posting this. I love Emmet Otter, love the music, and I’m just glad to see I’m not the only one. Hell, “When the River Meets the Sea” better play at my funeral, or I’ll find a way to circumvent the laws of physics and haunt my descendents.

  5. The full version, with Kermit, can be seen occasionally on HBO. I still have my original VHS recording from HBO when I was 6 years old and still watch it 30 years later, every Christmas! Great job posting the music!

  6. My children grew up with my singing “When the River Meets the Sea” to them at bedtime, and now my grandchildren are getting it too. If my vhs ever bites the dust, I too will have to resort to the Kermit-less dvd.

  7. I have been looking for this music for years too. The best song is Emmits version of BBQ. Then the Riverbottom Nightmare Gang’s final song. They deserved to win.

  8. There is a song that came out in the last year or two on a muppets soundtrack…it was a cover song from Emmit Otter. I don’t remember which one, but it wasn’t one of my favorites.

  9. Thank you so much for these. This has been my favorite Christmas special since, well, forever. Can you please look into fixing the link for BBQ? When I try to play it I only hear the bathing suit song again. Too bad, because that’s my favorite song.

  10. OMGosh! Thank you, thank you! You can NOT imagine the happy dance I am doing right now to have found these! I grew up on Emmet and have too searched endlessly for a soundtrack. That you so graciously took the time to make these available to hear, is a true joy. Incidentally, there currently seems to be a glitch in “Ain’t No Hole in the Washtub” which is a staple to the soundtrack. I have faith it’ll work itself out… Thank you so, sooo much again. This made my Christmas! 😉

  11. I am pleased to share that I’ve found at least one song on a CD, “When the River Meets the Sea”. It is on a CD titled “A Christmas Together” with John Denver & the Muppets. It seems that it is based on a TV special which I’ve never seen. There are other songs which are equally as touching and tender as those on our beloved Emmett Otter special so I can guarantee that you will enjoy. I believe that this CD is still available for purchase. The CD number is 12 761, 1996 Delta Music Inc. Windstar Records. The UPC number is 0 18111 27612 2
    So sad that both John Denver and Jim Henson left us much too soon. Bless them for their goodness and for what they shared with us. Merry Christmas everyone.

  12. 😀 Thank you thank you thank you! I have been trying to track this down to buy, but seems it doesn’t exist. I design, draw, and print a christmas card for my friends and family each year, and this year my theme is a mash up of characters from all kinds of christmas themed movies and tv shows. I’ve been wanting to listen to some ‘Emmet Otter’ while i sketched out the Jugband and Riverbottom Nightmare Band… and now I can! 😉

  13. Any chance you can fix the Barbecue link? It plays the ‘Bathing Suit’ song instead. Thanks a ton for doing this. Grew up watching Emmett and my kids now get the opportunity to roll their eyes every year when we watch it. lol

  14. How do you download these as MP3s so I can put on my player??? I have been wanting these for so long and never could find it!! Email me with these files if you can! Thanks

  15. Its a shame Emmet Otter never got its deserved ‘top billing’ of the Best Christmas Special ever! Maybe because it was ‘born’ on HBO and not network TV. I fell in love in its first HBO appearance, and now a 47 old man, I cry like a little girl everytime I watch it. It couldn’t be any better and I recommend it to anyone I end up in a Christmas related conversation.

Leave a Comment