Day 96: Your favorite song that you remember from a kid’s show.
“Three Is A Magic Number” – Bob Dorough
There was nothing quite like waking up on a Saturday morning and plopping your butt down in front of the Magnavox or Zenith to watch hours of uninterrupted cartoons. Granted, in today’s cable-television world, kids can do that any day of the week, but back when I was a kid, it was a treat.
And, for many years on ABC, there were little interludes. You might get “Time For Timer” who hankered for a hunk of cheese, or the far more rare “Louis The Lifeguard”, but more often than not, what you got was an episode of “Schoolhouse Rock.” You’d be hard pressed to find someone of my generation who didn’t get their first lesson in how Congress works from “I’m Just A Bill” or about and, but & or from “Conjunction Junction,” or that they could get their adverbs from Lolly’s or that interjections show excitement, or emotion. (Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
Not familiar with a song I’ve mentioned?
Click above to hear samples
and purchase songs.
In short, “Schoolhouse Rock” actually made learning history and English and math fun. Way more fun than learning dates, or diagramming sentences, or memorizing “times tables” (but only up to twelve; funny how no one thought we’d need to multiply anything by thirteen…).
It turns out the “Three Is A Magic Number” was the pilot episode of “Schoolhouse Rock.” It’s certainly not a bad place to start. And while it may not be the most beloved of the “Schoolhouse Rock” songs (it was #7 as voted on the 30th anniversary edition) I believe it is the one that holds up that best as a true song. That is, it’s regularly listenable outside the confines of the “Schoolhouse Rock” concept. It’s a little piece of brilliance that relates the number three to all kinds of everyday items, throws in a little geometry, teaches you the multiples of three (this time only up to ten) and includes a little slapstick violence just for grins.
It’s also a bit of an earworm. I’ve been walking around all day alternately singing “A man and a woman/had a little baby/yes they did/they had three in the family/it’s a magic number” and “Three, six, nine/Twelve, fifteen, eighteen/Twenty-one, twenty-four, twenty-seven/Thirty.” (If you’re drawing a blank on this, I’ve included the video.) It’s actually kind of driving me nuts at this point. (Guess I’ll have to listen to “Odds Are.”)
“Schoolhouse Rock” really was a brilliant idea. When adults, who likely haven’t seen a single episode in years, can quote you these songs verbatim, it’s pretty obvious that they did their job. (Too bad they didn’t make any “Schoolhouse Rock” episodes about to, too, and two; their, there and they’re; or your, you’re and the oft forgotten yore. Or proper use of apostrophes. Maybe we wouldn’t have so many idiots misusing them every day. Good thing I’m not bitter about it.)
“Schoolhouse Rock” was a big part of the tapestry of my childhood, and honestly, I can’t imagine growing up without it. Heck, “Sesame Street,” “The Electric Company” (Hey you guys!) and “Schoolhouse Rock” account for probably half of my grade school knowledge. Yes it was. It was those three.
And three is a magic number.
So tell me, what are your Saturday morning memories?
For those who forgot, or who want to remember fondly…