A Little Happier: Schoolhouse Rock Gives Me the “America Feeling.”

** Correction! After this episode aired, a thoughtful listener wrote me to explain that Bob Dorough didn’t write all the episodes of Schoolhouse Rock; “The Preamble” was written and starred Lynn Ahrens. Gold star to both of them.

I’ve mentioned before my “America feeling,” the feeling I get when I vote, or look at the Statue of Liberty, or listen to the song “The Farmer and the Cowman” from the musical Oklahoma!

I also get it when I listen to my favorite episodes of Schoolhouse Rock.

I was saddened recently when I heard that Bob Dorough had died. He was the jazz musician who created the clever and highly memorable Schoolhouse Rock cartoons that taught grammar, math, science, and citizenship to a generation of TV-watching kids like me. How I love Schoolhouse Rock—what a wonderful gift to the world!

All the cartoons are terrific, really fun, and they made it much easier to memorize information because they were so catchy. The cartoon “Conjunction Junction” has meant that I’ve never forgotten the function of a conjunction.

But my favorite of all of them were the cartoons in the series called “America Rock.” And my very favorite is called “The Preamble.” And I have to say, I know the Preamble to the Constitution by heart because of this cartoon, and I found it very helpful when I was in law school.

And it gives me my America feeling, every time I read it—or watch the cartoon.

All of us in the United States should know the words to the Preamble by heart, and I’m grateful to Bob Dorough for making it so easy and pleasant to memorize those words.

If you want to see the full episode of “The Preamble,” it’s here.




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