Friday Frivolity: Nerd Nostalgia, Schoolhouse Rock Edition

Alternately titled:  How I Spent Thursday Night Drunk With My Schoolteacher-To-Be Best Friend Watching Schoolhouse Rock YouTube Videos

I’m a simple creature.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  A roof over my head, clean clothes on my back, and warm food on my table.  Throw in a case of Miller High Life and wireless Internet access and I will become downright gleeful.  Last night started innocently enough – a few girls gathered together for dinner, catching up, and gossip.  But then…everything changed.

Remember D.A.R.E.?  Of course you do!  D.A.R.E. is famous for keeping almost no middle class suburban white kids off of drugs but giving us all really cool retro shirts to wear ironically when we were smoking up behind the tennis courts during our off period (Mom, I swear, it was only the other kids, I was there to study!)   Apparently, D.A.R.E. is still alive and kicking (because in all seriousness, they do good work, especially the drug dogs they bring to school when you graduate), so my STBBF was kind enough to share this jaunty tune that her students are currently learning to perform for their D.A.R.E. graduation.  Warning:  Listening will cause major earworm.  NOT A JOKE.

Once we listened to this song like five times – and warned each other to “check our attitudes at the door” – it was a YouTube nostalgia fest.  After brief detours with Rappin’ Rabbit and The Hippo Song (one of us grew up with a weirdly musical religious aunt), it was time to bring out the big guns – SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK!  My passion for Schoolhouse Rock cannot be overstated.  We own the VHS set at home and I still love to pull them out and watch them en masse when I’m visiting the PCParentals.  I have very fond memories of catching the clips during Saturday morning cartoons, implementing them into my stash of babysitting tricks, and playing tracks off the dope cover album when I was a college DJ.

The genius of Schoolhouse Rock is that it exists perfectly at the intersection of sincerity and camp.  The content is legitimately educational, unlike so many contemporary offerings, and there’s an earnest enthusiasm that never quite feels hokey, because each song’s story is sublimely silly in its own right.  While I always had a personal preference for the grammar and history series, even the math and science songs had a way of making me want to laugh at it and with it, all at the same time.

So, in honor of this most frivolous Friday, please enjoy my top ten favorite Schoolhouse Rock videos (in no particular order).

Sufferin’ ’til Suffrage

I like to think that my feminism really grew out of watching this over and over again.  Also, how fantastic is that girl’s ponytail?  SUPER FANTASTIC.

Three Is A Magic Number

I am not ashamed to admit that I still use this to do multiplication in my head!

The Tale of Mr. Morton

Not only is this story incredibly sweet (Mr. Morton was lonely…Mr. Morton was), but another great feminist-inspiring song – spoiler alert, the woman proposes!

Interplanet Janet

“A solar system Ms. from a future world” is just the catchiest damned lyric.  This has a 89% chance of being my Halloween costume this year.

Elbow Room

It was a toss-up between this and The Shot Heard Round the World, but is there a better song that illustrates Manifest Destiny?  It’s also a PostCollegiate Family Favorite – we often sing it when we’re cramped in small spaces together.

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly (Get Your Adverbs Here)

Everyone is always raving about Conjunction Junction but honestly, this is the Grammar Song that just gets stuck in my head whenever I think about adverbs – which is probably more than any reasonable person should.

Electricity, Electricity!

A little dare – go switch your lights off and then on again.  Did you just sing the chorus to yourself?  Of course you did.  Don’t be ashamed.

Dollars and Sense

Okay, so I clearly did not learn Becky Sue’s money lessons very well (as evidenced by my inability to stick to a budget) but this is like the most charming song about currency that has ever existed.

Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla

Thanks to STBBF for reminding me how awesome this song is – saying all those nouns over and over CAN wear you down!

Mother Necessity

This song comes in hand whenever I’m watching Jeopardy and there’s a category on inventors. 

Okay and one more bonus video, because, come on, it’s the golden standard of Schoolhouse Rock videos:

I’m Just A Bill

It’s a classic for a reason, folks.  And it’s adorably old-fashioned as it features a Congress that used to actually DO things like enact laws!

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