Mastheadheroes

All Across the Land

(About Abraham Lincoln)

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout) 

Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), considered to be one our country's greatest presidents, is remembered for his great human qualities.  He was a patient, compassionate and just man.  Though he was often criticized and in danger of assassination, he bravely led the nation by the principles he believed to be right, "with malice toward none, with charity for all."  As president, he accomplished two major feats:  he freed the slaves and kept the union of states together, despite the Civil War which threatened to tear the United States apart.

 

Born on the frontier in a dirt floor cabin,

A back woods boy splitting rails into the night.

Big bony hands, piercing eyes,

Reading books by the candlelight.

  

Tall on a platform, thousands before him

Engaged in the great debate,

He says, "Slavery is evil

A monstrous injustice in the hands of hate!"

 

REFRAIN:  This is my proclamation.

                      Here I make my stand.

                      I will not rest until I see

                      Every slave is free

                      All across the land.

 

A sea of top hats on a Pennsylvania field

The President addresses a nation's pain.

"Four score and seven years ago..."

Gettysburg was not in vain.

 

Two weary generals shaking hands

One dressed in blue.  One in gray.

News of Appomattox spreads across the land

Then Honest Abe cracks a smile to say:

 

REFRAIN  

                  

Keep the Union strong.

Slavery is wrong.

Abolitionists unite!

Stop the Civil War.

No fighting anymore.

You know it isn't right

For the North & South to fight.

 

REFRAIN:  It was his proclamation.

                      He made a stand.

                      When he died the nation wept,

                      But his promises were kept

                      All across the land.

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)


Amelia

(About Amelia Earhart)

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout) 

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American Aviator, is famous for her flights across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and her attempt to fly around the world.  She often used her fame to speak out against war and for women's rights.  One of the most intriguing mysteries of the twentieth century is:  What happened to Amelia Earhart?  In June 1937, she left Miami, Florida, on an around-the-world flight attempt.  On July 2, her plane vanished in the South Pacific.  The world waited with fascination as search teams from the United States and Japan converged on the scene.  But not she, her navigator, or the plane was ever found.

  

Flying on empty in the South Pacific --

Radio coordinates not specific.

Swallowed by an ocean in deep deep mystery --

Amelia the brave, lost to history.

 

An aviation pioneer,

Flying planes was her career.

High above the clouds she flew.

Amelia must have known the fear

She could someday disappear

But she flew because she wanted to.

 

She took an autogiro to amazing heights.

Spoke out on aviation and women's rights.

They made her famous but she wouldn't play the part

'Cause in spite of it all, she was a pilot at heart.

 

She had the courage to explore

Where no woman went before,

Changing the course of history when she flew.

And when the questions got down to it --

Why'd she risk her life to do it?

She smiled and simply said, "I wanted to."   

 

She flew the vast Atlantic all alone --

The greatest aviatrix ever known.

 

On Amelia's final flight,

She disappeared from sight

And left us in the dark, without a clue.

The theories come and go,

But there's one thing we all know --

Flying's what she loved to do.

 

The experts can't agree,

But she was probably lost at sea

And maybe now she's flying somewhere free, Amelia.

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)


Angel of Mercy

(About Clara Barton)

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout) 

Clara Barton (1821-1912) lived her life in almost constant service to others.  She is best known as the founder of The American Red Cross.  When the Civil War erupted, she learned that much suffering at the front was caused by scarcity of supplies.  Single-handedly, she organized supply depots and later served as a nurse.  She was sometimes called the "angel of the battlefield."  Throughout her much of her life she helped people in need by rushing to various hurricane, flood, famine, sickness and war emergencies.  She was a woman of great courage and perseverance.

 

Angel, Angel of mercy, heart of gold --

Unselfishly giving, courageous and bold

Modest and painfully shy

An angel determined to fly

Giving hope and strength to the needy

 

Angel, miracle woman, lady in red,

You could have remained with your teaching instead.

You did all you could do and more

Nursing the soldiers wounded in war.

Wherever you went they knew you were heaven-sent,

Angel of mercy.

 

It was your calling to serve.

It was your calling to lead.

So you overcame your shyness

'Cause there were people in need.

As a result of your compassion

And your self-control,

The American Red Cross

Became your heart and your soul.

 

Angel, Angel of mercy, heart of gold.

Unselfishly giving, courageous and bold.

You were true to your call

As you gave your all.

Inspiration, heart of a nation,

Angel of mercy.

 

When there are people in need of a helping hand,

The Red Cross is there to make a stand.

Patron and founder, you did all you could do --

Angel of Mercy, still shining through.

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)


Ben Franklin 

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout)

 Few people have done as much for the world as Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).  Although he was always proud to call himself a printer, Franklin was also a diplomat, a scientist, an inventor, a philosopher, an educator, an author, and a public servant.  In Europe, Benjamin Franklin was the most famous American of his time.  It was he who persuaded the English to repeal the hated Stamp Act.  It was also he who convinced the French to aid in the American Revolution.  Franklin helped draft both the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution.

 

He was born in Boston but he left that scene.

Ran away to Philadelphia at seventeen.

He made candles, delivered papers, but then

None of this was challenging enough for Ben.

 

He taught swimming.  He was thrifty.  Loved to read.

Became the Postmaster General, indeed.

He was a jack-of-all-trades and a master of most.

The center of attention from coast-to-coast.

 

REFRAIN: Ben Franklin

 

He wanted freedom for all including black and white.

Signed The Constitution 'cause it was right.

He invented a stove.  He was a diplomat.

He published Poor Richard's Almanac and this 'n' that.

 

A printer and a writer and a scientist,

A poet, inventor and feminist.

He built the first library, and the first street light,

And we all know 'bout the time when he flew that kite.

 

REFRAIN: Ben Franklin

 

He was quick with his words -- could think on his feet.

He said, "Eat to live, don't live to eat."

"Early to bed and early to rise,

Makes a body healthy, wealthy, and wise."

 

He learned a lot of languages and spoke them well.

The Europeans loved him.  They thought he was swell.

He had a violin, guitar and a harp he played.

Beethoven wrote some music for an instrument he made.

 

He was buddy buddy with French King Louis

And he thought wearing wigs was a little screwy.

Spent some time in England, as a matter of fact,

Helping to repeal the Stamp Act.

 

REFRAIN: Ben Franklin

 

He created the electric word "battery."

Invented bifocals so we could see.

He was there when they built the first fire truck,

And we all know 'bout that time when that lightning struck.

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)


Heroes

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout, Peter S. Bliss & Diana Davis)

 

REFRAIN:

                   Hero - looking for a hero,

                   Someone to look up to every day.

                   Hero - I want to find a hero.

                   Someone to believe in, showing me the way.

 

They have changed humanity,

Having walked in the light of history.

Heroes are everywhere

Showing the world they care.

 

REFRAIN

 

Just imagine what you can do

With the power to make your dreams come true.

The greater the gifts you give,

The richer the life you'll live.

 

REFRAIN

 

I know that anything is possible.

The sky is the limit.

Who knows what I may someday be!

 

REFRAIN

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & CurlyJams (BMI)


 Martin

(About Martin Luther King, Jr.)

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout)

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) believed that love and peaceful protest could eliminate social injustice.  A clergyman and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he was one of the outstanding African-American leaders of the United States at a time when many blacks were clearly treated as inferior people.  His house was bombed and his life and family was often threatened, but until the day he died, Dr. King continued to teach people the world over to protest peacefully in order to achieve equality and peace. 

 

He was born a Georgia boy in 1929.

When black and white were separate,

He dared to cross the line.

He watched as others called him

By the color of his skin

And he knew he'd have to change things

From the way they'd always been.

So he raised his voice

And this is what he said:

 

REFRAIN:  We have to change the world

                      Change the world

                      Change the world with our hearts.

                      I have a dream.

 

He led the way with freedom marches

In the name of civil rights.

There were those who tried to stop him

When they blamed him for the fights.

 

But every time he went to jail

He managed to survive.

'Cause Martin trusted righteousness

To keep his dream alive.

And when he raised his voice,

This is what he said:

 

BRIDGE:  What about my people?

                    We have the right to stand tall!

                     What about my people?

 

REFRAIN

 

It was an April night in Memphis

When his life came to an end.

Now millions speak the message

Of the man they call their friend.

 

"We shall overcome" 'cause prejudice is wrong.

The dream is still alive

Someday we'll all get along.

Though the man is gone, his voice is loud and clear.

 

REFRAIN

 © 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)


Sacajawea

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout & Peter S. Bliss)

 Sacajawea (1787? - 1812 or 1884) (sometimes spelled Sacagawea) met Lewis & Clark near the present-day Bismarck, North Dakota.  She has become a legend in part for the strength with which she faced hardships on the difficult expedition.  After several months of travel, the group was near starvation and in need of horses to help carry their heavy gear over the Rocky Mountains.  It was Sacajawea who helped arrange the trade for horses with the chief of the Shoshone Indian tribe -- her brother -- whom she had not seen since she had been kidnapped by another Indian tribe six years earlier.

 

Long time ago, an Indian girl

Stood upon the banks of the Missouri.

When up the river came Lewis & Clark

On an expedition in a hurry.

 

There were in search of a northwest passage.

Needing an Indian guide,

They asked this girl to join their party

On an April day in 1805. 

 

REFRAIN:  Sacajawea -- Indian girl

                     Young and smart and brave

                     Sacajawea, Sacajawea

                     Helping them on their way.

 

There was adventure and excitement

As they paddled 'cross the northern plains

But from the shadows of the Rockies

It looked as though their trip was in vain

 

With heavy burdens on aching feet

They could not cross the Great Divide.

Until they met with Shoshone Indians 

And they were saved by their Indian guide.

 

REFRAIN

 

"I travel with the White Man.

We come to you in peace.

They bring you beads and treasures

From a land they call the East.

We wish to trade for horses

To help us on our way.

Now, brother, pass the pipe of peace

Let us celebrate today."

 

They never found a northwest passage,

Although they stood where the land meets the sea.

From the Pacific, they headed homeward

Across their land of discovery.

 

Lewis & Clark -- famous explorers.

Wrote of their adventures for the world.

Their expedition might not have made it

But for the grace of an Indian girl.

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & CurlyJams (BMI)


Take a Ride

(About Harriet Tubman)

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin) 

Harriet Tubman (1820?-1913) was born a slave near Bucktown, MD.  At about the age of twenty-nine she escaped to the North.  Before the outbreak of the Civil War she made nineteen journeys back to lead other slaves -- including her own parents and most of her brothers and sisters -- to freedom along the secret route known at the Underground Railroad.  Slave owners were constantly on the lookout for Tubman and offered large rewards for her capture, but they never seized her or any of the slaves she helped escape.  She helped so many blacks escape to freedom that she became known as the "Moses of her people."

 

You wake up every morning

To a life that's not your own.

You belong to one called "master"

With a heart as hard as stone.

If you're sick and tired of living

Like a dog on a chain,

Climb aboard the freedom train.

 

REFRAIN:  Take a ride.  Take a ride.

                      Take a ride on the Underground Railroad with me.

                      Keep it movin' ever closer

                      To that day we all are free.

 

Be brave and just remember

Dreams cannot be sold.

I am reaching out to take you

Where your chains have no hold.

So wish upon the North Star

And you won't wish in vain

If you climb aboard this freedom train.

 

REFRAIN

 

A slave's life ain't worth livin'

So, don't look back.

Just keep on huggin' that dream

Along this freedom track.

 

REFRAIN

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)


The Light Went On

(About Thomas Edison)

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin) 

Thomas Edison (1847-1931), often called the greatest inventor who ever lived, patented over 1,000 inventions.  These included the motion-picture projector, the phonograph and the electric light bulb.  Though he completed only three months of schooling, he loved to read.  It was his powerful imagination, his firm optimism and his complete self-confidence that enabled him to spend long hours inventing things that would make life better for all of humanity.

  

There he sat by the candle flame,

Thomas Alva Edison was his name.

In search of a way to bring light to the night,

He kept thinking, but he couldn't get it right.

Then something in the waxy glow

Told him what he had to know.

Set his imagination free.

 

REFRAIN:  That's when the light went on in his head.

                      The light went on.

                      Working night and day

                      To find a better way,

                      When the light went on in his head.

 

There he sat with a pad and pen,

Thomas Alva Edison inventing again.

In search of a way he could capture sound

And then play it back to everyone around.

Then something made him stop and laugh.

Dreaming of a phonograph

Set his imagination free.

 

REFRAIN

 

Glass bulb, filament, stretch into an arc.

Vacuum seal it up.  Add a tiny spark.

Stand back, turn it on.  Glowing in the dark!

He left his mark in Menlo Park.

         

REFRAIN

 © 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)


Washington's Hat

(About George Washingon)

(Words & music by Jonathan Sprout) 

George Washington (1732-99) was commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution, and later the first president of the United States.  Known as the "father of his country," he symbolizes qualities of discipline, honor, loyalty and love of country.  This song is not a true story.  General Washington did, however, courageously lead his troops across the icy waters of the Delaware River during a Christmas night snowstorm to win a stunning victory over enemy German soldiers known as Hessians.  The battle of Trenton restored the nation's morale and became known as the turning point of the revolutionary war.

 

On Christmas Day, 1776

General George Washington was up to his tricks.

He had an idea.  It would revolutionize

The way to win the war with a secret surprise.

He called his troops to the banks of the Delaware,

Put on a crazy hat, and let the soldiers stare.

It was a silly secret weapon, but soon you'll see

How a hat brought the colonies a victory.

 

REFRAIN:  Washington's hat

                      Imagine that.

                      Washington's hat

 

They struggled with the boats, though it would have been nice

If they had taken the bridge to avoid the ice.

It was a Kodak moment, so a painter painted that,

While George stood tall in his silly hat.

Then he said to the artist, "If you will,

Please paint my portrait for the dollar bill!"

That night while the Hessians were turning and tossing,

They should have looked for George at Washington Crossing.

 

REFRAIN

 

At last they came to Trenton and divided into groups.

George had given orders to surround the Hessian troops.

That's when he went knocking on the Hessian General's door,

Who took a look at George's hat and laughed 'til he was sore.

Powerless and giddy, this is what he said,

"I cannot fight a man who's wearing that atop his head!"

And so he gathered his belongings after gathering his wits,

Gave his sword to George and said, "I call it quits."

"It's too cold and dark to fight," he said.  "Besides, I'd rather chat.

Now, what on earth possesses you to wear that silly hat?"

 

REFRAIN

 

Washington leaned forward and whispered in his ear,

"That's a military secret. I can't reveal it here."

The Hessians, thus, surrendered, caught in George's trap.

'Twas a victory for the colonies and a feather in his cap.

 

REFRAIN

 

George fought many battles.  Everywhere he'd go,

The enemy dropped their guns - to tease him so.

His silly hat befuddled them.  All they ever did,

Was double over laughing, screaming, "Who's he trying to kid!"

Later in Yorktown where the war was won,

George tipped his hat when they cheered for what he'd done.

It's been said he wore that chapeau everywhere he went.

Some believe that's how he got to be the President.

Father of our country, noble diplomat.

Is it safe to say we're here today because of George's hat?

 

REFRAIN

 

Now the moral of the story (in case you didn't know):

It's okay to wear a silly hat when playing in the snow.

And don't be too concerned about what others think and do,

When you might have a better way of doing something new.

Just think of General George and all the glory he begat -

The man who crossed the Delaware beneath a silly hat.

 

© 1995 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)

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