Sufferin’ ‘Til Suffrage: 40 Years Later, Still One Of The Grooviest Women’s History Lessons

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We Just Can’t Get Enough Of This Schoolhouse Rock Sufferin’ ‘Til Suffrage Video
EducationHistoryPoliticsTelevisionWomen's Rights 1 Comment

This Wednesday is taking us Way Back to our childhoods. If you were a kid in the ’70s or ’80s you probably learned about conjunctions, the Constitution, and even how a bill becomes a law from the animated educational TV series Schoolhouse Rock. But one of our favorite episodes was Sufferin’ ‘Til Suffrage, which first aired forty years ago, in 1976.

With a blend of groovy animation and historic photographs, singer/songwriter Essra Mohawk sings about the suffrage movement, teaching kids what it took to guarantee women the right to vote in the US.


Lyrics

Now you have heard of Women’s Rights,
And how we’ve tried to reach new heights.
If we’re “all created equal”…
That’s us too!

(Yeah!)

But you will proba … bly not recall
That it’s not been too … too long at all,
Since we even had the right to
Cast a vote.

(Well!)

Well, sure, some men bowed down and called us “Mrs.” (Yeah!)
Let us hang the wash out and wash the dishes, (Huh!)
But when the time rolled around to elect a president…

What did they say, Sister, (What did they say?)

They said, uh, “See ya later, alligator,
And don’t forget my … my mashed potatoes,
‘Cause I’m going downtown to cast my vote for president.”

Oh, we were suffering until suffrage,
Not a woman here could vote, no matter what age,
Then the 19th Amendment struck down that restrictive rule. (Oh yeah!)

And now we pull down on the lever,
Cast our ballots and we endeavor
To improve our country, state, county, town, and school.

(Tell ’em ’bout it!)

Those pilgrim women who …
Who braved the boat
Could cook the turkey, but they …
They could not vote.
Even Betsy Ross who sewed the flag was left behind that first election day.

(What a shame, Sisters!)

Then Susan B. Anthony (Yeah!) and Julia Howe,
(Lucretia!) Lucretia Mott, (and others!) they showed us how;
They carried signs and marched in lines
Until at long last the law was passed.

Oh, we were suffering until suffrage,
Not a woman here could vote, no matter what age,
Then the 19th Amendment struck down that restrictive rule. (Oh yeah!)

And now we pull down on the lever,
Cast our ballots and we endeavor
To improve our country, state, county, town, and school. (Right On! Right On!)

Yes the 19th Amendment
Struck down that restrictive rule. (Right On! Right On!)

Yes the 19th Amendment
Struck down that restrictive rule.
(Yeah, yeah!
Yeah, yeah!
Right on!
We got it now!
)

Since 1920…
Sisters, unite!
Vote on!

  • Jim Clayton

    Respectfully, Essra did not write this; she only sang it.

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