Top 5: “Schoolhouse Rock!” Songs

I was off doing other things yesterday – or more, importantly, I was doing things that weren’t near a computer – so I couldn’t do the Top 5 last night. We’ll do the Top 5 tonight, Thursday Trivia (on Friday!) tomorrow, and we’ll move the Link Slurry to next week.

Children, oftentimes, get bored from learning. The standard rote method sometimes doesn’t jive with the kids. So that’s why Schoolhouse Rock! was brilliant. A 4-minute show on ABC’s Saturday Morning block of kids’ shows in the ’70s and later reprised in the ’90s (you know, before it went to crap entirely), Schoolhouse Rock! presented fun, catchy tunes about Grammar, Science, Multiplication, and History (and later computers with the ill-fated “Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips” series, and Money Rock in the late ’90s). It certainly helped me out in learning things, even though I came around about 20 years after Schoolhouse Rock! premiered.

So here we go with our number 5 pick on my favorite Schoolhouse Rock! songs, with…

5. “The Tale of Mr. Morton”, Grammar Rock

Now, I could have chosen “Conjunction Junction”, simply because it’s a classic, but I chose this one for three reasons: first, there is already a mnemonic for the conjunctions (FANBOYS – for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so); second, I wanted to choose a song produced after my birth (“Mr. Morton” premiered in 1993); and third, it’s just a cute song about a rotund man and his cat, and what they do over time, a great way to learn about subject and predicate.

4. “Three is a Magic Number”, Multiplication Rock

Yeah, I chose this one because, much like “Conjunction Junction”, this song is a classic.

3. “The Preamble”, America Rock

I learned the entire Preamble from this song alone. It’s the entire freakin’ Preamble to the Constitution in the chorus of the song. Can’t get much better than that.

2. “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here”, Grammar Rock

What can get better than that? This dark-horse pick – a story of those wonderful -ly modifiers in the form of a family store commercial.

1. “I’m Just a Bill,” America Rock

“I’m Just a Bill” proves wrong the adage that “the public shouldn’t know how two things are made: sausages and laws” in about four minutes. Jack Sheldon’s baritone tells the story of an idea, becoming a bill in the House, and eventually being signed into law. It’s cute, it’s infectious, and I even have my own little “Bill” doll, which I got ages ago from the Smithsonian.

(I know some science folks are going to rag on me for not including any songs from Science Rock – for the record, I did love “Interplanet Janet”, “The Skeleton,” and “The Gravity Blues” –  but I’m more of a history guy.)


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