Monday’s Music Moves Me: Music that Educates And Other School-related songs

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!

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

22 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Music that Educates And Other School-related songs

  1. John,

    Schoolhouse Rock was pAwesome little educational spots airing in the 70s and I remember many of these oldies. I don’t know if broadcast TV shows these sorts of things today but it surely needed given our educational system crisis. Kids just aren’t learning like they once did. The other day, DH read that they lowered the fail grade. I forget what to but it was something crazy low like 40% earns you an ‘F’ now. ‘Swing the Alphabet’ Three Stooges skit is great. It seems there was a little rhythm or song that we learned for ‘AEIOU’ to help us memorize the vowels in the alphabet but I can’t recall it now.

    The second half really has a lot of rhythm and blues to get the classroom really moving this moring. Thanks for boogieing with the 4M gang, my friend. πŸ™‚

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    1. I was in high school when “Schoolhouse Rock” started running, and even I learned a thing or two. They were well-done and fun to watch. Glad you enjoyed the set!

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  2. Schoolhouse Rock was cool for the kids and a very good babysitter as they say at least for my kids it was.
    They would be in front of the tube and in another world for sure! Yes, I knew that wasn’t really too good for them, but being a single mother for four children it was very helpful. I turned to many programs, but I made sure I watched them first because any program I didn’t agree with was taboo for my kids and they knew. I really loved that one about the Bill. Very, very educational. School house rock was a favorite in our household for sure. Thanks John. Great post!!! Conjunction Junction was really hip in our home! hahaha Have a great day! Oh & I agree the kids aren’t learning the way they should these days!

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    1. We had a single mom, and we spent far too much time (at least according to the “experts”) in front of the TV, and we still had good grades.

      I learned that not everything I wanted to learn would be taught in school and that I would have to learn it on my own if I wanted to know it. I think it’s even truer now than it was 50 years ago.

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    1. I was in high school already when “Schoolhouse Rock” first came out, but they were really memorable. As for the Stooges, what can I say? They were real entertainers. I can understand the concerns about the slapstick violence, but taking them off the air entirely was throwing the baby out with the bath water.

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  3. Oh man do I remember those animated ditties like what’s your bill and Conjunction Function. That brings back memories and some I didn’t mind but others..I didn’t care much for like the Just a Bill from Capital Hill. I love that Billy Joel song..love!

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  4. Oh, did this bring back some memories. Swing the Alphabet was a fav from my childhood and I still remembered a lot of it. Schoolhouse Rock, past my time, but several of the songs are played so frequently on various programs that I know those songs. But – and you made my husband’s day – Chase. He loved Chase and then they were gone in a plane crash, but your song was new to both of us – and it sounds so much like Blood Sweat and Tears that hubbie made me confirm it was really Chase. I love those horn bands!

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