...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hookin' up words and phrases and clauses

I am so ridiculously excited about this post. If you are roughly in my age bracket, or if you are younger and have *exceptionally* cool tastes, then you know what I am talkin' about when I say, "I'm just a bill. Yes, I'm only a bill. And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill...."

Schoolhouse Rock! was instrumental in my academic formation, and contributed extensively to my mad verbal skills today. As their website says so eloquently; "Every Saturday morning between 1973 and 1985, a classroom of imagination defying enormity was assembled on ABC, run by a small cadre of renegade Madison Avenue ad men. Class sessions were short but intense - squeezed between episodes of Scooby Doo and LaffOlympics, and Underoos met the dress code. No one assigned homework, no one slapped your knuckles with a yardstick, no one beat you up for your milk money. The institution of learning was called Schoolhouse Rock, and if you can recite the Preamble of the Constitution by rote and know the function of a conjunction, you probably attended faithfully."

Don't you feel smarter just remembering all this stuff? Three times six is ... eighteen! School House Rock was great at breaking down complex issues into easily understood (and damn catchy) rhymes. In 1996 a bunch of their songs were re-done by good people so now you can rock a little as you learn (from the CD Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks). Please enjoy these as much as I do. And all good English majors should remember:
"I get my thing in action (Verb!)
To be, to sing, to feel, to live (Verb!)"


Conjunction Junction - Better Than Ezra

Three Is A Magic Number - Blind Melon

I'm Just A Bill - Deluxx Folk Implosion

No More Kings - Pavement

My Hero, Zero - The Lemonheads

The Energy Blues - Biz Markie

Verb: That's What Happening - Moby

Also, today is my sister's birthday - my childhood companion on the couch in our jammies, watching and learning all this stuff, filing away all the tunes into our encyclopedic musical memories. Happy birthday, big sis! Love you!

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At February 02, 2006 2:46 AM, Blogger Chad said...

Great post!

It is, of course, my official duty as an Elliott Smith SuperFan to inform you that he recorded a splendid cover version of "Figure 8" (from School House Rocks). Though it didn't wind up making the final cut for his album of the same name, it did get released on some non-domestic versions of the record.

Oh, and you can hear it right here

At February 02, 2006 9:21 AM, Anonymous Unge Lovende Grande said...

Ah - fun to read your posts. This stuff never really got big here in Norway, but have definately heard of it. Listening to "Consumption Juction" now. Post more about Matt Nathanson, now :)

At February 02, 2006 10:01 AM, Blogger heather said...

thanks, chad! i never made that connection, even though I have the Figure 8 album. THANK YOU SUPERFAN!

At February 02, 2006 4:00 PM, Blogger Stephen K. said...

Great memories and a pretty good album (Blind Melon never sounded better). You should also check out Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits sung by indie artists, though not quite as good as School House Rock.

At February 02, 2006 10:00 PM, Blogger Nathaniel said...

conjunction junction what's your function, biaaaaaaatch?!

At February 14, 2006 2:14 PM, Anonymous jethro said...

i remember those schoolhouse rock cartoons vividly. back when education was cool.



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