Monday, September 8, 2014

Rocking out with Schoolhouse Rock

One of the things modern kids have trouble believing is that at one time all new kids TV proramming aired on Saturday Morning, and that since this was the pre-VCR era, one spent long hours deciding which shows one would watch. And although many kids TV shows today are better written, and far better animated, I have a few shining memories from back in the day, including Scooby Doo, Jonny Quest and Schoolhouse Rock. That classic series of 3 minute snippets of grammar, history, math and science is over 40 years old now, and last night ABC did a one hour special.

The show was one of the treasures of my middle school years. Several episodes, especially those celebrating grammar and history have stuck with me ever since. (If only there were a Schoolhouse Rocks for algebra, my college career might have gone more smoothly.)

Last night ABC reported on their picks for the 5 best/most popular episodes. I agree with their top two choices, but not the others, so here is my countdown of the five best segments of Schoolhouse Rocks.

"The Preamble" is a sentimental favorite.  When my son was young he had a Leapster and he had both Grammar Rocks and History Rocks games for it. He learned the Preamble to the Constitution courtesy of Schoolhouse Rocks and Leap Frog.

"The Great American Melting Pot"  A classic that has stayed remarkably timely as well.

"Interjections" I rank this higher than ABC did--for the sheer genius of fitting lines like "or with a comma when the feeling's not as strong" into a  song, not to mention audaciously setting a kids educational video to Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus,".

"I'm Just a Bill" One of the best civics lessons ever, in the space of 3 minutes here is the story of how Federal laws are made (and not made).

"Conjunction Junction" Here it is, the earworm to end all earworms.  As I mention over at Lefty Pop, I had a high school teacher who made students who misused conjunctions sing the song in front of class. It is the perfect merging of pop art and useful knowledge.

So those are my favorites. What are yours? If you go over to my post on Lefty Pop you can see the ones ABC picked. Or let me know what your choices would be.


  1. I loved Schoolhouse Rock! We even have the CD. "I'm Just a Bill", "Interjection" and "Conjunction Junction" are my favorites. "Interplanet Janet" is a close runner up. I can also do a mean impression of the guy who sings most of them "I'm just a bill...yes, I'm only a beeyul...."

    1. I said "Conjunction Junction" was the worst earworm, but since I wrote this "Interjection" has been stuck in my head. There are worse pieces of music to be stuck on.