This post is just a campy 70s throwback designed to appeal to Generation X types, who luckily never had a Vietnam to thin our ranks out a little.
After Multiplication Rock and Grammar Rock, the Schoolhouse Rock powers that be decided to do America Rock in honor of the Bicentennial. I was pushing 14 when these came out, so I was aging out of the demographic, but Lynn Ahren’s “The Preamble” absolutely helped me with memorizing it, and “I’m Just A Bill” is still one of the best summations of the legislative process ever written.
Using the framing device of an anthropomorphic piece of paper — which in a plot point that seems kinda odd is discarded on steps of the U.S. Capitol — discovered by an inquisitive little kid, “I’m Just a Bill” optimistically traces the steps of how a bill gets transformed from an idea to a law, always coming back to the catchy chorus.
At least I hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.
The music is just basic folk-rock, but if you listen, you’ll heard some pretty great electric piano underneath the verses and doubling Jack Sheldon’s vocals on the chorus.
And of course, “I’m Just A Bill” was famously parodied by The Simpsons, upping the ante from Bill to Amendment, going so far as to use Sheldon as the singer and of course this classic couplet:
And I’ll make Ted Kennedy pay
If he fights back, I’ll say that he’s gay
Anyways, thanks for sitting through these Schoolhouse Rock posts. We’ve got some really good posts about The Jam coming up, I swear.
I’m Just a Bill
“I’m An Amendment to Be”
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