Generation X Loses the Composer of its Soundtrack

Everything we know about history, math and multiplication we learned from Schoolhouse Rock.

Quiz Time: What's the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the words "Conjunction Junction?"

If your immediate response is "What's your function?" chances are you're a member of Generation X. If you can still recite the Preamble of the Constitution, but only if you sing along, then you're almost certainly a Gen-Xer.

Today, Bob Dorough, the creator of "Schoolhouse Rock," passed away at the age of 94. The family did not release a cause of death, but he had been diagnosed with cancer last year.

Dorough wrote the first of the "Schoolhouse" classics after a NY ad executive told him that his son was having trouble with multiplication. A generation learned their times tables from the resulting works.

For those of us old enough to remember when Saturday mornings meant cartoons on television, Schoolhouse Rock was our educational foundation. It taught us everything we needed to know about:






And of course, Civics.

Schoolhouse Rock even warned us of the coming debt crisis, long before Ron Paul made it to Congress.

Why, there was nothing my generation couldn't learn if you sang it in a catchy tune accompanied by hilarious cartoons! I remember in 7th grade, our Social Studies teacher required us to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution. Apparently, this had been an exercise he required for many years. For my class, it was no problem. But about 98% of the students had to sing it.

Such was the power of Schoolhouse Rock. This will be the legacy of Bob Dorough.

Lately we seem to be going through a national crisis of Civics education. Kids today don't even know what the Holocaust was. There has been debate on how we can fix this problem I have an easy solution. Instead of spending millions on computers and smart boards, order every child in America a copy of Schoolhouse Rock on DVD. Just $9.99 at Amazon ( Or have some corporate sponsors pay to run it as a streaming ad on social media. Maybe even get some new composers to expand the series.

I'm just grateful to Bob Dorough for all he taught me. Thank you for teaching our generation what a noun is, how gravity works, and multiplying by three.

No. 1-3

'Suffering until Sufferage' is a horrible example to explain feminism. There were women allowed vote long before 19th amendment. And it were woman themselves who were campaigning against the 19th amendment because they feared it would require that they also subject themselves to all demands that government place on men, such as having to enlist in the military. This little tune has rewritten history and since it makes men out to be chauvinists, I am sure fuels the thinking in third wave feminism.


I still hum, "Conjunction junction, what's your function?..." from time to time. Knowledge coupled with music is a powerful combination. Same can be said of bad stuff put to music, but for today, one that combined good+music has left the stage. The world is poorer for the loss.


RIP, honorable Mr. Dorough, as you entertained and educated my 5 children & that whole generation. I'd forgotten about these - I'll need to dig them up for my present students!