This playlist is half educational songs, half songs that talk about school in some way.
We start off with a couple of the most popular “Schoolhouse Rock” interstitials from the ’70’s, “I’m Just A Bill” and “Conjunction Junction.” These would show during the commercial breaks between cartoon shows on ABC stations and taught American History, Language Arts, and occasionally Math. Disney Educational Products, which, like ABC, is owned by Disney, has posted all of these to YouTube, so have fun. The next song is from Sesame Street, the day that Pentatonix showed up to “Count & Sing To 5.” Next is a clip from the Three Stooges short Violent Is The Word For Curly, where they sang “Swingin’ The Alphabet,”, which according to Wikipedia is the only time they performed an entire song in one of their shorts and mimed it to the prerecorded song. For the last one in this half of the list, I chose a touching song called “Little Child.” In the early ’60’s in Chicago, WBKB-TV (now WLS-TV) ran a program called Here’s Geraldine, hosted by Jim Stewart (no relation to the actor) and his wife Rosemarie (Bud). Jim played the host and the rest of the cast were puppets, including Geraldine the Giraffe. You can read all about it here.
The second half of the playlist is songs that mention school, four of which are blues and R&B tunes: Junior Wells and his Chicago Blues Band (featuring Buddy Guy) with “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and Eric Clapton with “Wee Wee Baby” (“It was early one morning, I was on my way to school…”), Chuck Berry with “School Day”, and Otis Rush with “Homework.” Finally, the band Chase with the oft-covered “Handbags and Gladrags,” which Wikipedia tells us “is a song written in 1967 by Mike d’Abo, who was then the lead singer of Manfred Mann. D’Abo describes the song as “saying to a teenage girl that the way to happiness is not through being trendy. There are deeper values.” The pertinent line is “they told me you missed school today,” about two-thirds of the way through the song.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for March 4, 2019. Happy 182nd birthday to the City of Chicago!