Again, not technically a movie, but Schoolhouse Rock: America Rock shaped a lot of young American minds - including my own - and gave them a base of historical and political knowledge on which to build their ideas about how the country works. This is not really the strongest, musically, of the sets (in my opinion). It would be hard to beat Grammar Rocks for that title. But there are some cool songs in 'America Rocks' and fun animations that put the facts in our heads.
There's apparently a new "Election Collection" DVD out, containing almost all of the America Rocks songs (except for "Elbow Room"), plus "Energy Blues" (from Science Rock) and a few songs from Money Rock ("Walkin' On Wall Street", "Tax Man Max", and "Tyrannosaurus Debt" - the last of which is linked below). And they've added a new song ("Presidential Minute") to the mix. It's a cool idea, except that for a few dollars more you can just buy the whole SHR set.
ALL of the videos - each about three minutes long - are available on YouTube (links and sample lyrics under the cut). In addition to "Tyrannosaurus Debt," I've also added a parody cartoon that SNL did about ten years ago called "Conspiracy Theory Rock," which is hilarious (and was quite controversial). Also, "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College" was not in the original America Rock set, but ... how could I not include a song about the electoral college here?
No More Kings
We're gonna dump this tea
And turn this harbor into
The biggest cup of tea in history!
The Declaration of Independence (Oh yeah!)
In 1776 (Right on!)
The Continental Congress said that we were free (We're free!)
Said we had the right of life and liberty,
...And the pursuit of happiness!
(Side note: I always crack up that the "pursuit of happiness" is consistently represented by a man chasing a woman. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of some. :P)
The Shot Heard Round the World
Take your blanket, and take your son.
Report to General Washington.
We've got our rights and now it's time to prove.
We the people
In order to form a more perfect union,
Establish justice, insure domestic tranquility...
The way was opened up for folks with bravery.
There were plenty of fights
To win land rights,
But the West was meant to be;
It was our Manifest Destiny!
(Side note: I don't think Manifest Destiny has ever sounded so folksy and cute. :D)
The Great American Melting Pot
Lovely Lady Liberty
With her book of recipes
And the finest one she's got
Is the great American melting pot.
(Side note: Kind of creepy to see people jumping into a pot like that - much like when Gargamel used to try to cook the Smurfs.)
Ring me on the Alexander Graham Bell.
Thank you Alexander for the phone.
I'd never get a date, I'd never get a job
Unless I had a telephone.
(Side note: A little Equus flashback with Samuel Morse and his, errr, horse.)
Sufferin' Til Sufferage
Those pilgrim women who...
who braved the boat
Could cook the turkey, but they...
they could not vote.
Even Betsy Ross who sewed the flag was left behind that first election day. (Right on! Right on!)
I'm Just a Bill
I'm just a bill.
Yes, I'm only a bill.
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee,
But I know I'll be a law some day
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill.
(Side note: I giggle every time Jack Sheldon says "Oh yes!")
Three Ring Government
No one part can be
more powerful than any other is.
Each controls the other you see,
and that's what we call checks and balances.
(Side note: The innocent nature of today's post precludes me from saying what I want to say about the current state of checks and balances and certain politicians' efforts/hopes to circumvent them. *innocent smile*)
I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College
And even if the vote is close,
And someone wins by just a little, tiny hair,
Electors give that person all their votes,
And it's considered fair and square!
BONUS: SNL's Conspiracy Theory Rock
(Aired in original episode, but cut for reruns. Lorne Michaels claimed it was because it didn't work comedically, but it's more likely he wanted to keep his job. :P)