We the People (born 1787) Celebrate This Constitution!

On this day — September 17th, 2010 — you and I, as proud Americans, celebrate the 223rd anniversary of the formal signing of one of the grandest documents ever conceived by human hands … The Constitution of the United States of America!  Or as many have called it, the Supreme Law of the Land!

So I would like to take this time to honor the delegates of the Philadelphia Convention back in ’87.  Ah, the Founding Fathers … may they always be remembered as great men and visionaries for all time.  Let me give a shout-out to James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, and also to Lynn Ahrens!

Who???

Hey, wait a minute…Oh that’s right, there weren’t any women at the Philadelphia Convention.  So then, who is Lynn Ahrens?  Well, she’s kind of important, too.

She is the songwriter who penned the music and lyrics to a song called “The Preamble” which debuted on Schoolhouse Rock in 1976.  Remember?  Her body of work on the ABC-TV series alone includes such memorable tunes as “Interjections!” – “No More Kings” – “The Great American Melting Pot”  and  “A Noun Is a Person, Place or Thing”.  Lynn Ahrens, who also sang these catchy little songs, is second only in popularity to the great jazz song-smith Bob Dorough, who is responsible for “Conjunction Junction” – “Three Is a Magic Number” – as well as all the remaining numbers in Multiplication Rock.  These were all building block companions to our education as young kids.  It gave me the understanding that rote learning through music had a valid place in our lives as students.  I didn’t do well in memory and recall during my school years, so I kind of wish Schoolhouse Rock was available and applicable for all the grades above the third grade.  Only a thought.

The actual preamble to our Constitution states our founding father’s intentions as to what the document means – as well as their aspirations of what it could achieve as the new nation grew.  As you well know, the passage goes like this:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

This opening paragraph serves no governing purpose; it is there simply as an introduction, to set the tone for what you will read in the document. Those who know the song by heart are aware that a piece [of the United States] was taken out to make the “lyrics” flow better.  But I give full credit to Ms. Ahrens for teaching me, through song, this lengthy but important prologue. I’m sure that the other students in my sixth grade class can say the same thing. 34 years later, we can still clearly hear the melodies and lyrics in our heads.  My teachers taught me just fine, but music is definitely a great vehicle for learning.  I believe it’s proof positive that Schoolhouse Rock was a worthwhile and noble project.

Happy Constitution Day, everybody!!!

Your friend,

Dean


  • Odie

    Haha Schoolhouse Rock! What about I’m Just a Bill on Capitol hill? My frien has that DVD that stuff is old!

    I Like your site

  • Jeffy

    The I’m Just a Bill song was written by a different guy.
    And I believe the voice of the bill just died this year.
    Great series School house Rock!