February 15, 2003


I'm Just a Bill (Music & Lyrics: Dave Frishberg)
}} {Woof! You sure gotta climb a lotta steps to get to this Capitol Building here in Washington! But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?}

I'm just a bill,
Yes, I'm only a bill,
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city,
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee,
But I know I'll be a law someday...
At least I hope and pray that I will,
But today I'm still just a bill.

}} {Gee, bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage!}
{Well I got *this* far. When I started, I wasn't even a *bill* - I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called their local congressman and he "You're right, there ought to be a law." Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress, and I became a bill. And I'll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.}

I'm just a bill,
Yes I'm only a bill,
And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
Well now I'm stuck in committee
And I sit here and wait
While a few key congressmen
Discuss and debate
Whether they should
Let me be a law...
Oh how I hope and pray that they will,
But today I am still just a bill.

}} {Listen to those congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and
}} debate about you?}
{Yes. I'm one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favourably, otherwise I may die.}
}} {"Die?"}
{Yeah: die in committee. Oooh! But it looks like I'm gonna live. Now I go to the House of Representatives and they vote on me.}
}} {If they vote "yes", what happens?}
{Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.}
}} {Oh no!}
{Oh yes!}

I'm just a bill,
Yes I'm only a bill,
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill,
Well then I'm off to the White House
Where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the President to sign.
And if he signs me then I'll be a law...
Oh, how I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.

}} {You mean even if the whole Congress says you should be a law, the
}} President can still say no?}
{Yes, that's called a "veto". If the President vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress, and they vote on me again, and by that time it's...}
}} {By that time, it's very unlikely that you'll *become* a law! It's not easy to become a law, is it?}

No! But how I hope and I pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill!

}} {He signed you, bill! Now you're a law!}
{Oh yes!}
The Simpsons "Amendment Song" (Alf Clausen and John Schwartzelder)

Krusty: Well, Itchy and Scratchy are gone, but here's a cartoon that tries to make learning fun! Sorry about this, kids. But stay tuned. We've got some real good toy commercials coming right up. I swear.

Boy: Say, who left all this garbage on the steps of Congress?


I'm not garbage.
I'm an amendment to be.
Yes, an amendment to be.
And I'm hoping that they'll ratify me.

There's a lot of flag burners
Who have got too much freedom.
I want to make it legal for policemen to beat 'em.
'Cause there's limits to our liberties.
'Least I hope and pray that there are.
'Cause those liberal freaks go too far.

Boy: But why can't we just make a lawagainst flag burning?

Amendment-to-be: Because that law would be unconstitutional. But if we changethe Constitution...

Boy: Then we could make all sorts of crazy laws.

Amendment-to-be: Now you're catching on.

Bart: What the hell is this?

Lisa: It's one of those campy seventies throwbacks that appeals to generation x-ers.

Bart: We need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks a little.

Boy: But what if people say you're not good enough to be in the Constitution?


Then I'll crush all opposition to me
And I'll make Ted Kennedy pay.
If he fights back, I'll say that he's gay.

Narrator: Good news, amendment. They ratified you. You're in the U.S. Constitution.

Amendment-to-be: Oh, yeah! Door's open, boys!

Lisa: So it's true. Some cartoons do encourage violence.

Fresh Air saluted the Simpsons yesterday in honor of their 300th show and played this tune from one episode. They even got the School House Rock sound dead to rights.

N.B. Did you know Harry Shearer was the original Eddie Haskell?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2003 12:23 PM

Shearer was in Abbott and Costello go to Mars.

Posted by: Jerome Howard at February 15, 2003 9:51 PM

And Spinal Tap

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at February 15, 2003 10:25 PM

And also in the very first syndicated TV episode of The Jack Benny Program (originally filmed in color!) from 1954. He even gets his name read by Don Wilson in the closing credits.

Posted by: John at February 17, 2003 12:22 AM

Yes, he's very complimentary of Jack Benny in the interview.

Posted by: oj at February 17, 2003 8:54 AM