This was written by songwriters Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher for The Muppet Movie
, which came out in 1979. In the film, it is sung by Kermit The Frog as the Muppets set out to find adventure. In a Songfacts interview with Williams
, he said: "Rainbow Connection was the first number in The Muppet Movie
. It's the one that establishes the lead character. We find Kermit sitting in the middle of the swamp. Kenny Ascher and I sat down to write these songs, and we thought... Kermit, he's like 'every frog.' He's the Jimmy Stewart of frogs. So how do we show that he's a thinking frog, and that he has an introspective soul, and all that good stuff? We looked at his environment, and his environment is water and air - and light. And it just seemed like it would be a place where he would see a rainbow. But we also wanted to show that he would be on this spiritual path, examining life, and the meaning of life.
It tells you that he's been exposed to culture: 'Why are there so many songs about rainbows?' Which means, obviously, he's heard a lot of songs. This is a frog that's been exposed to culture, whether it's movies, or records, or whatever. And I also like the fact that it starts out with the negative: 'Rainbows are only illusions, rainbows have nothing to hide.' So the song actually starts out as if he's going to pooh-pooh the whole idea, and then it turns: 'So we've been told, and some choose to believe it. I know they're wrong, wait and see.' And again, he doesn't have the answer: 'Someday we'll find it.'"