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« Singing to females makes male birds' brains happy | Main | Tea Party movement: "It's about leave us alone" »

February 04, 2010


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Brilliant stuff. Thanks Sissy.

WEll done! Thanks for sharing this. :D

The 'Chief Academic Officer for North Carolina Department of Public Instruction' knows exactly what she's doing. She avoids the civil war *and reconstruction* (distinctly American experiences) while starting off in time for... The Second International!! (1889) Yay! Hello, Socialism!

Dear Ms. Willis: Despite watching this video several times, my glasses and hearing aid keep me from appreciating its brilliance. This is slop, devoid of any ideas (watching it with the sound off shows this even more clearly,) appealing strictly to the 21st century with its emphasis on noise and constant visual jumping around. No no, make the detainees at Gitmo watch this; they'll crack in no time.

Let me repay you with this. Again, there's noise and too much jumping, but that's part of the parody and wit, parody and wit completely absent from "Too Late to Apologize." Yes it is too late.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

Squeaky wheel gets all the attention, Gregory Koster:

Music is surely a matter of taste, but your resistance may have caused you to overlook the rich mix of historical references, both musical and visual, in "Too Late to Apologize."

A couple of examples: The music interweaves instruments and instrumentations of the two eras. You may have missed strains of the musical language used in the soundtrack of the HBO "John Adams" series.

Visually speaking, you may have missed the candlelit dining room's dark green curtains, period molding and other direct references to Independence Hall as depicted in Howard Chandler Christy's painting of the Signing.

Or how about that image (second one down in blogpost) of the fiddling Thomas Jefferson on a high cliff overlooking a picturesque American landscape in the manner of the Hudson River School, directly referencing Asher Durand's Kindred Spirits?

I didn't think we could see anything worse than what gets done here in Texas, where we teach US History to Reconstruction in the 8th grade but don't teach US History since Reconstruction until 11th grade. Sadly, north Carolina has found a worse idea...

I can't decide which I like better: the slow close on Jefferson at the table during the first chorus, or John Hancock as the alternate world version of the Sid Vicious who joined Adam & the Ants.

Adams was there, just to Jefferson's right, unwigged in homespun vest, along with bespectacled Benjamin Franklin

Oops! Wrong Adams. The video actually features two Adamses, John and Samuel, though Sam had no role in Philly during the summer of '76. John is shown wearing an ocherous coat similar to the one he is seen wearing in his most famous portrait. He's the third to Jefferson's right, just past Franklin. The gent to Jefferson's immediate left is John Hancock.

I think the scene is not meant to represent any specific time or place, it's just a general tribute to the Founders and a reminder that American exceptionalism isn't just a conceit, it's a plain fact of history and fundamental to the national character -- something Obama is just being to learn, much to his chagrin.

Neal: I've referenced and linked your corrections in an update above. Thanks!

Loved it. Linked it.

Thanks, Sissy!

Love this video - sent it to all the history teachers I know! However, I think the lead singer is John Adams - Jefferson is the tall, redhead with the quill.

Amy: Have added your lovely post in an update.

MochaLite: Fabulous that you've sent the video along to history teachers you know. This social networking thing may yet save the Republic!

I'm quite certain the singer is Jefferson. John Adams may be the fellow in red jacket, while Sam Adams is probably the one in brown vest who spills his quaff.

Dandy with quill is DEFINITELY!!! John Hancock.

My interpretations. :)

I believe you are right about the founders the singers portrayed. It would be right AND JUST that Jefferson is portrayed as the lead singer, re: the Declaration of Independence.

And, after all, he played a violin.

Sam Adams was definitely the fellow who splashed his brew. I recognized John Adams also, he looked perplexed, stubborn and supremely persuasive.

John Hancock had the quill.

I've been watching this video every chance I could get today.

Then I find your wonderful presentation on this brilliant piece of American exceptionalism.


Gregory Koster, I believe there are kids, perhaps even damned kids, who are on your lawn and need looking to.

I kept waiting for it to break into a full blown parody, but it has an un-ironic integrity that sticks throughout.
And King George cracks me up every time.

I saw this linked by one of the Blackfive bloggers who considers it to be as good as The Warrior Song! High praise indeed although of a very different type of music. (warning: it may still be too jumpy for George who apparently prefers more sedate styles and thinks everyone else should too)

I want to make note of something I have seen happen many times in my life. People who study any one thing for a long period of time then move to teaching what they've learned tend to forget one vital fact.

Those coming after them, those who are just learning, do not have the background on which to base future learning. The do-gooder teacher thinks: "what can I do to make things easier" as if easier is somehow better. Never realizing that removing these vital pieces turns everything else into gobbledygook.

To drop early US history from the curriculum means kids will not have any real basis for evaluating anything. Nothing later makes sense if you don't know what happened earlier. It's like coming into the middle of a movie you've never seen. You may be able to figure it out, or you may misinterpret what is currently happening on the screen because you missed the earlier parts that explained the beginning of the story. Of course it also makes it much easier to manipulate the minds of those who don't have a clue. Easier to twist what they think they know...

As for the music video (which is exceptionally fun). If it encourages kids to find out what happened in history. If it gives them a visual idea of what happened. That is all to the good. It won't be for everyone - but no form of entertainment ever is.

Teresa: Way cool. Thank you.

As a public school teacher may I say, Thank you! and Well done! Now get on with the rest of American's History and Biology Videos while your at it!

What Would Reagan Do, on this, his 99th birthday?

“I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual. And let me offer lesson No. 1 about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ‘em know and nail ‘em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.”

Good job, Sissy.

Everyone. From what I can tell, this is a parody of OneRepublic "Apologize", and the made up name of the group that is all dressed up is TJ and the Revo. Do I at least have that correct?
Now, I want more patriotic music. The only other group I know is Poker Face. Do these musicians have more songs? EVERYONE ON FACE BOOK is having a cow over this video. We Like it and are hungry for more. Who are the ones that made this video? Please don't say Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin! :) By the way, that was pretty good history to show Thomas Jefferson with the violin. GREAT TEACHERS and students of History are involved in this video. Thank you in advance to whoever did this, still searching the internet, trying to get more information. God save the Republic. Thanks again.

As a history grad student, I have to say that I absolutely love this video. Not only is it extremely clever, but it also shows that Soomo Publishing (and hopefully other publishing companies) is on the right track when it comes to finding new approaches in education. By incorporating popular culture into lesson plans, educators have a better chance of reaching today's youth. The truth of the matter is that pop culture plays a large role in today's society; one needs only to look at Lady Gaga or the Twilight Saga to see that. Why not use that resource to our benefit?

This video in particular does indeed appeal to the 21st century, but it is hardly "slop" or "devoid of ideas." Instead, it is an entertaining spin on OneRepublic's "Apologize" and the song's unofficial music video.

I admit that everyone is entitled to their own musical tastes, but I believe that Soomo's decision to use "Apologize" over something else, perhaps by Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, or Justin Bieber, was a smart decision. Not only does it easily fit with the subject matter, but it is equally appealing to the teachers as it is to the students. All-in-all, the combination of popular culture, sheer entertainment value, and subtle historical references (previously mentioned by Sissy) make the song a perfect addition to the classroom-one that might even inspire a budding young history buff.

For the rest of us, it's just fun and entertaining!

I liked this post very much as it has helped me a lot in my research and is quite interesting as well. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

i really love the song.it ways the 3best songs i have ever hear in my life.

that was the most best song i ever hear in my life.if i hear it again i will go crazy nuts.and by the way you rock.

Beautiful song i never heard in my life, thanks for remembering that song nice blog thanks...:)

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