Schoolhouse Rock: No more kings

posted at 1:30 pm on July 4, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Via Cubachi, a few delightful clips from the venerable Schoolhouse Rock series that might have helped a few of the people Jay Leno met on his last Jaywalking effort. First up is “No More Kings,” which presents a rather, er, simplified view of the American Revolution, but gives the kids at least a basic idea of why it happened:

Next up is “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” which celebrates the start of fighting in 1775 and takes us through Bunker Hill, the Delaware, and on to Yorktown in a three-minute tour. “And though they lost some battles too, the Americans swore they’d see it through …” It was more than some, but we won the ones that counted:

This one’s called “Fireworks,” but it’s about the Declaration of Independence. Note the repeated artistic depiction of the “pursuit of happiness”:

And if you don’t mind skipping to 1787, here’s the Schoolhouse Rock episode on the Constitution. “It’s been helping us run our country ever since then …” Well, it would be nice if we had more than five Supreme Court Justices who agreed with that, but I’ll take what I can get. It transforms the Preamble into song lyrics — and it is sweet music indeed:


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It is sad that they are not even teaching this anymore…

Khun Joe on July 4, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Kagan needs to see this.

ladyingray on July 4, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I’m just a bill!

Yes, I’m only a bill!

And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill!

And you better hope I don’t get passed or I’m going to add $3 Trillion more to the deficit!

pilamaye on July 4, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Grandpa saw this. The kids were watching Beevis and Butthead.

BacaDog on July 4, 2010 at 1:43 PM

We need to go back to more School House Rock type shows and less Reality TV and other mindless garbage that has no redeeming qualities other than turning minds to mush!

Liberty or Death on July 4, 2010 at 1:43 PM

I prefer this video:

Too Late To Apologize

Enoxo on July 4, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Why don’t they show these anymore?? I remember they used to show them after cartoons in the afternoon…in place of a commercial…

They’re timeless…..

BigWyo on July 4, 2010 at 1:46 PM

The USA operator’s manual was put there, in the place of highest honor, because the Founders knew, Freedom is a fragile thing. It’s easy, so easy, to push the wrong button and bring the whole thing down.

RBMN on July 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Thanks for the memories, Ed! I love Schoolhouse Rock and Jack Sheldon’s soulful jazz vocals. I work in public education and these videos are still popular among teachers.

Terrie on July 4, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Schoolhouse Rock is the best example, to me, of ‘edutainment’. Most of the genre is at best very light on educational material and at worst so poorly made/written that kids despise them.

God Bless the US, and have a happy 4th everyone!

Dark-Star on July 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM

agree, bring these back on saturday mornings!
—-
I remember back in middle school, our social studies assignment was to recite the preamble by memory….everybody was singing this little diddy to pass :)

cmsinaz on July 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Now the kids get to see video’s of this bho and sing their little songs to him in school.
L

letget on July 4, 2010 at 1:57 PM

.

School House Rock leaves out an important aspect (faith)… as educational as they are:


Why We Celebrate July Fourth

.

papa_giorgio on July 4, 2010 at 1:58 PM

This is pretty freaky deaky, since Schoolhouse Rock, (“I’m just a bill’” particularly) has been running through my head during, and since having taken the Alabama Literacy Test, posted in another thread … remarkably challenging.

pambi on July 4, 2010 at 1:59 PM

letget on July 4, 2010 at 1:57 PM

mmmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmmmm

cmsinaz on July 4, 2010 at 1:59 PM

The Jay walking clip gives us the exact time line of when Marxists began their indoctrination in our education system.

Grampa had American history, his kids and their kids? The 60s protesting hippies (neo communists) had picked up teaching jobs.

Speakup on July 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM

This is how I learned my first U.S. History (I had to wait to graduate High School to teach myself the rest), and this is how my kids learned their first U.S. History (we bought the DVDs), the rest they are learning from me. They already know more than their High School friends (they’re 7, 10 & 12).

29Victor on July 4, 2010 at 2:02 PM

The Jay walking clip gives us the exact time line of when Marxists began their indoctrination in our education system.

Grampa had American history, his kids and their kids? The 60s protesting hippies (neo communists) had picked up teaching jobs.

Speakup on July 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Ignorant masses are easier to control.

29Victor on July 4, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Happy Birthday America!

And also Providence, RI (1636)

Tony737 on July 4, 2010 at 2:07 PM

3 is a magic number.

portlandon on July 4, 2010 at 2:10 PM

awesome Ed! Kickin’ it old school. I feel like I’m 5 years old again, like it is Saturday morning and cartoons on ABC.

ted c on July 4, 2010 at 2:19 PM

I posted almost all of these on my facebook page this morning. When we had to learn to recite the preamble from memory individually in front of the class in 7th grade, I half recited, half sang it- thanks to schoolhouse rock. And I wasn’t the only one.

Monica on July 4, 2010 at 2:21 PM

I’m a gen-x kid that grew up on these. I can still recite the preamble, but only in the sing-songy version (…ensure domestic tran-quil-it-teee-ee-eee).

The sad thing is, you know the creators of these cartoons were your classic 60s hippy liberals, and you could never get today’s liberals to produce something like this. They would consider it offensive and hate speech. No broadcast network would dare expose children to this kind of radical indoctrination.

I miss those hippy dooshes.

azkag on July 4, 2010 at 2:27 PM

President-elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.

- Valerie Jarrett

Monica on July 4, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Monica on July 4, 2010 at 2:29 PM

an oldie but a goodie…

cmsinaz on July 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM

When we had to learn to recite the preamble from memory individually in front of the class in 7th grade, I half recited, half sang it- thanks to schoolhouse rock. And I wasn’t the only one.

ME TOO!

I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons just so I could see School House Rock. It was one of my favorite things….and how I learned stuff.

“conjunc-a-junction, what’s you’re function..hooking up words and phrases and clauses”

“IIIIN TER JECTION!(Hey!) show excitement (Yow!) or emotion (Ouch!)”

“She travels like a rocket with her comet team
And there’s never been a planet Janet hasn’t seen,
No, there’s never been a planet Janet hasn’t seen. ”

“Elementary, my dear, two time two is four.(Woo!)
Elementary, my dear, two time three is six. (Yeah!)
Elementary, my dear, two time four is eight. (Woop!)
Elementary, my dear, two time five is ten. (Yeah!) ”

Ok, I’ll stop now.

ramrants on July 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM

I love “Fireworks”! I post it on my FB every year and in the various blogs I frequent. No need to do that here, LOL.

Happy Independence Day y’all!!!!

WaltzingMtilda on July 4, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Note the repeated artistic depiction of the “pursuit of happiness”:

Well, it was written by men… ;)

I’m so glad that I grew up with School House Rock. There really is no equal today on TV.

Texas Gal on July 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Note the repeated artistic depiction of the “pursuit of happiness”:

That’s too funny. That would never fly today. Not PC nuh-uh.

Here’s another on the Louisiana Purchase and “manifest destiny.”

Firefly_76 on July 4, 2010 at 3:19 PM

These are sooooooo awesome. The 3rd one with the non-PC pursuit of happiness was especially cute. Did you catch the “Nix On Geo. III” protest sign? Was that a reference to Richard Nixon? Would have been the right era. Naaaahhh…
And the guy voting “present” is kinda funny to see nowadays — heh.

KS Rex on July 4, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Happy Birthday, America! Here’s my absolute favorite: the Founders singing “It’s Too Late to Apologize” to King George III.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZfRaWAtBVg

MochaLite on July 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Third video at 0:50 there is a subtle Nixon reference [Nix On Geo III] on the protest signs. Or am I reading too much into it?

multiuseless on July 4, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Thank you so much Ed for posting these. I grew up with Schoolhouse Rock and I haven’t seen these for years. The one about the Preamble helped me in 8th grade on an American history test. We had to write the Preamble so I just sang the song in my head during the test. Needless to say, I got an A!

Lizzy on July 4, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Just went and ordered the DVD from B&N for my kids. My soon to be 7th grader has two book reports to do this summer and he is reading about the American Revolution. On July 20th we will be doing the Freedom Walk in Philly and visiting the Liberty Bell. Since we live in Jersey we will be visiting as many battle sites as we can. GOD BLESS and PROTECT THE USA!!!

red131 on July 4, 2010 at 3:39 PM

I remember back in middle school, our social studies assignment was to recite the preamble by memory….everybody was singing this little diddy to pass :)

cmsinaz on July 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM

My fifth grader just did this very same thing this year… thanks to her mom! :)

UnderstandingisPower on July 4, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Here’s another on the Louisiana Purchase and “manifest destiny.”

Firefly_76 on July 4, 2010 at 3:19 PM

LOL, Elbow room was the first one I thought of when I saw the topic of this thread. I have a 4 disc set of these I got when my son was born, and I’m not sure it’s included (it’s been a few years since I’ve had it out.)

Fighton03 on July 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

What fun. I’m such a sucker for this. Now it’s time to go watch my favorite Independence Day movies…starting with 1776 and The Patriot. I’ll even watch my kid’s copy of Johnny Tremain.

MainelyRight on July 4, 2010 at 4:23 PM

UnderstandingisPower on July 4, 2010 at 4:19 PM

excellent :)

cmsinaz on July 4, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Here’s Bill Shatner hamming it up(as usual).

Don Carne on July 4, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Why I named my son “Boston.”

mankai on July 4, 2010 at 4:50 PM

I prefer this video:

Too Late To Apologize

Enoxo on July 4, 2010 at 1:45 PM

My personal favorite as well…I want someone to edit out the guy with the musket and insert an AR-15…

Who is John Galt on July 4, 2010 at 4:56 PM

I’m a gen-x kid that grew up on these. I can still recite the preamble, but only in the sing-songy version (…ensure domestic tran-quil-it-teee-ee-eee)……

I miss those hippy dooshes.

azkag on July 4, 2010 at 2:27 PM

That’s funny. I’m on the tail end of the boomers and that’s how I “recite” the preamble.

And don’t mourn the hippie dooshes too much. Most of them are turning Floyd County, Virginia into an “artist enclave” now.

TugboatPhil on July 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Here’s one that time has forgotten-from 1939, this was future Warner Brothers directing legend Chuck Jones’ very first encounter with Porky Pig.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utkBu-mqi-c

Del Dolemonte on July 4, 2010 at 5:39 PM

“…the rest they are learning from me.”

That was the second point I took from Jaywalking. Yes, our schools have the responsibility to teach history and our founding, but so do parents. Grandpa knew his stuff, but fell down on the job when it came to teaching his children (and grandchildren) about this wonderful country of ours.

I know through helping my 3 kids through school, they they are taught all of this several times over the years. The problem is that the teachers are boring, probably find the subject boring themselves, and the students don’t retain it. My kids have, because my husband and I are both history buffs and made sure to share that love with our kids. They are all almost grown up now, and all love history, current events, and museums.

Teachers have got to make history relevant. There are so many interesting stories behind the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They are not just oldie moldy documents, there were personal experiences behind every amendment. If teachers would teach it that way, maybe kids would retain and appreciate it better. Even then, parents have to participate in their children’s education, supplementing and reinforcing what they learn in school.

Unfortunately, there are way too many adults who don’t value education and don’t know these subjects themselves. Their lives are filled with trashy “music” and “reality” shows instead of meaningful family activities.

Common Sense on July 4, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Thanks for this post. I miss Schoolhouse Rock. :)

It transforms the Preamble into song lyrics — and it is sweet music indeed:

Way back in Junior High School, everyone had to memorize the Preamble and recite it for the teacher. Only one or two kids in the class didn’t watch Saturday morning cartoons… everyone else already knew the song and just had to remember to add “of the United States” after the first three words.

malclave on July 4, 2010 at 7:21 PM

Thanks for this post Ed. After watching, I ordered the DVD’s for Grandkids. My DIL will appreciate it. These are classics and need to be shared with every generation.

SoldiersMom on July 4, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Tears in my eyes after watching these again. I remember seeing these when I was a kid, and they were new.

These used to be shown during Saturday morning cartoons, and every kid in the USA knew them word for word.

Now, not so much.

So much for educational programming. Now we just get programming…

NavyspyII on July 4, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Too late to apologize is also an excellent video. All of these are now up on my Facebook as well.

No kids of my own, but I think my niece and nephew are just about old enough to appreciate these, time to order some DVD’s.

NavyspyII on July 4, 2010 at 7:58 PM

.

The Revolutionaries of 1776 wanted a king, just not King George… the following comes from my previous posted link:
http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/2010/07/why-we-celebrate-july-fourth/

The spiritual emphasis manifested so often by the Americans during the Revolution caused one Crown-appointed British governor to write to Great Britain complaining that:

If you ask an American who is his master, he’ll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.

Letters like this, coupled with statements like that delivered by Ethan Allen, and sermons like those preached by the Reverend Peter Powers (“Jesus Christ the King”), gave rise to a motto of the American Revolution. Most of us are unaware that the American Revolution even had a motto, but most wars do (e.g., World War II—”Remember Pearl Harbor”; the Texas’ war for independence—”Remember the Alamo”; etc.). The motto of the American Revolution was directed against King George III—considered the primary source of the conflict; for it was he who was arbitrarily, capriciously, and regularly violated “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” The motto was very simple and very direct:

No King but King Jesus!

.

papa_giorgio on July 4, 2010 at 8:07 PM

LOL, Elbow room was the first one I thought of when I saw the topic of this thread. I have a 4 disc set of these I got when my son was born, and I’m not sure it’s included (it’s been a few years since I’ve had it out.)

Fighton03 on July 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Mind if I ask (or anyone else that has a set) where you got them and what set you have? I need to order some!

Firefly_76 on July 4, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Public School House Rock….

Caper29 on July 4, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Thanks Ed, for the fun videos! All weekend I’ve been sharing with family the (untold) stories of our Founders & their wives; stories I heard on Glen Beck from authors David Barton & Jane Hampton-Cook. Why is it that in 16+ years of school, we’ve never heard of these important people in our history?

TN Mom on July 4, 2010 at 10:45 PM

I’m very proud to say that my mother, who worked in animation for decades, inked and painted the entire School House Rock series. :)

Urban Infidel on July 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Mind if I ask (or anyone else that has a set) where you got them and what set you have? I need to order some!

Firefly_76 on July 4, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Looks like Amazon has a 2-disc set for $15.

malclave on July 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM

I’m very proud to say that my mother, who worked in animation for decades, inked and painted the entire School House Rock series. :)

Urban Infidel on July 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM

SO COOL!!!

TN Mom on July 4, 2010 at 11:17 PM

I LOVED Schoolhouse Rock! I can still sing most of the songs………

mistythestripper on July 4, 2010 at 11:26 PM

WOW. I hadn’t heard the Preamble song in 30 years. Thanks Ed, you really made my day.

fossten on July 5, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Mind if I ask (or anyone else that has a set) where you got them and what set you have? I need to order some!

Firefly_76 on July 4, 2010 at 8:11 PM

my mistake, the videos were on VHS. I had a CD set with just the music. Sadly, the cassettes are no longer with me…I just looked.

We got them more than 10 yrs ago, but I think we had to order them on-line.

Fighton03 on July 5, 2010 at 1:16 PM