The first time Mister Rogers sang this song, he was remembering a time when he was angry with a friend. His negative emotion scared him and he needed to talk about it with a caring adult. This song acknowledges that fear is closely entwined with anger. Mister Rogers sang this song occasionally throughout the run of the Neighborhood, but much more frequently he sang “What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?” That song offers ideas for how children can actively deal with their anger, such as punching a bag or pounding some clay.
Whether he is singing about talking it out or running to burn off steam, Mister Rogers assures children they can express their anger in healthy ways that will not hurt themselves or anyone else.