Elmo SINGS at Thanksgiving Parade 'Nothing's Gonna Bring Us Down'

11/22/2012 7:45 AM PST

is alive and well on Thanksgiving -- singing his heart out during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade today in NYC ... and the song may or may not be a musical response to the child abuse scandal.

Elmo -- along with the rest of the "Sesame Street" cast -- sang "What I Am," a song with lyrics that take on new meaning in the wake of the scandal involving Kevin Clash, Elmo's former voice actor who's been accused of sexually abusing 2 underage boys.

Among the lyrics -- "I'm gonna keep my head up high / keep on reaching high / Never gonna quit / Just keep getting stronger."

And if that weren't appropriate enough, Elmo chimes in with his solo -- "Nothing's gonna bring us down."

Check out the clip.