Can't Stop Running

 (Wilma Rudolph)

(By Jonathan Sprout)

Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) overcame severe physical handicaps to become one of America's greatest athletes. As a young girl living in poverty, she was often sick.  At the age of six, she was fitted with a metal leg brace and told she would never walk again.  Through determination, dedication and great courage, Wilma Rudolph turned her life around to become the "fastest woman in the world" as well as the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics.  In her soft-spoken, calm and gracious manner, she taught us that we must not allow our circumstances to hinder our potential to succeed.

"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit.

  The potential for greatness lives within each of us." -- Wilma Rudolph


Good Dr. Coleman arrives out of breath,

Examines the girl, turns to Momma to say,

“Wilma’s so sick, she may not walk again,

But we must have hope, anyway.”


At twelve years she’s healthy and finally walking.

Once and for all free at last of that brace.

All over town you can hear people talking,

“Wilma has run in a race!  Sweet grace!”



            She can’t stop running.

            After all she’s been through

            Can’t stop running.

            A golden dream come true.

            She can’t stop running, yeah, yeah, yes.

            That’s what Wilma loves to do.


Coach Temple trains her to work on her stride.

She runs for the Tennessee Tigerbelle Team.

Soon she is confident, glowing with pride,

Hard on the heels of a dream.  It seems





            Inside that stadium in Rome,

            At the Olympics, far from home,

            She calmly waits for the starting gun.

            A flash of lightning down the track,

            The others only see her back.

            And so the gold is won.

            Wilma loves to run!


© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)

 Chocolate King

  (About Milton Hershey)

(By Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin)

Milton Hershey (1857-1945) was a philanthropist and visionary who found the courage to make his greatest dreams come true.  He was committed to the highest standards of honesty, fairness and integrity.  Those who worked with him were inspired by his imagination and drive, his perseverance, and his concern for others.  His generosity was as sweet as the "the great American chocolate bar" he created.  In 1918, Hershey gave his entire fortune to a school for orphans he established with his wife Catherine.  A statue of him at The Hershey School includes these words: "His deeds are his monument. His life is our inspiration."

"Give them quality. That's the best kind of advertising."  -- Milton Hershey


Hard work, clear vision,

A stubborn refusal to fail.

Flat broke but not broken.

How does a dream prevail?

Hope’s hurting but it’s far from gone.

Sometimes you gotta keep keepin’ on.



            Believe and never stop.

            Keep your eyes on the mountaintop.

            A little bump in the road doesn’t mean a thing

            To The Chocolate King.


Success tastes sweeter

When shared with another kid.

You feel satisfaction

The way Mr. Hershey did.

Each day is bright and new

When a kind heart is leading you.





            One boy whose lofty aim is

            To make it big some day

            Becomes-the-man whose claim to fame is

            He gave it away.



 © 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)

Come Back Home

 (About John Muir) 

(By Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin)

John Muir (1838-1914), the most influential conservationist and naturalist in America, is known as "the father of our national parks." An ingenious inventor who was blinded by an injury, he vowed that if his sight were restored, he would devote himself to the study of the inventions of Nature.  Gradually, his vision returned, and he courageously took a stand against the destruction of America's great western forests.  With his poetic writing, he taught us that wild places are precious and fragile spiritual resources that must be preserved.  A compassionate dreamer, he forever changed the way we see our mountains and forests. 

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life." -- John Muir


I dream of mountains

I hear them calling me back home.

I hear them calling,

Calling – come back home!


Far from the reach of the city,

Where mountains give way to the sky,

This is where I long to wander,

Watching the seasons go by.

Nothing could feel more exciting

Than being there, ready to roam.

No place could be more inviting.

It’s calling me “Come back home!”



            Let me stand in the heart of a redwood grove

            Lightly sprinkled with fresh white snow,

            May I just catch a glimpse of a mountaintop

            Awash with alpenglow,

            Let me live out a dream on Yosemite Stream

            Where my wilderness joys abound,

            To discover the truth of eternal youth

            Upon that sacred ground.


Nature awakens my senses

When I walk among whispering trees

Smelling the sweet-scented cedar

Breathing the crisp glacial breeze.

Hearing a soft creature chorus

Under a star-sparkled dome.

Now who will preserve it all for us

So we can come back home?





      High flowery meadows

       Sheer canyon walls

       Huge boulder dams

       Lacey white waterfalls





I dream of mountains

I hear them calling me back home.

I hear them calling,

Calling – come back home!

I dream of mountains

I hear them calling me back home.

I hear them calling,

Calling – come back home!


© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)


(About Elizabeth Blackwell)

(By Jonathan Sprout)  

Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) overcame great opposition to become the first woman doctor in America.  After receiving 28 rejections from medical schools, she was accepted by Geneva Medical College, but only because it was believed her application was a joke.  In spite of the prejudice she experienced, she graduated first in her class.  Later Miss Blackwell fought an uphill battle to open the first hospital staffed by women physicians and the first medical college to train women doctors.  It was her dedication to creating a medical community for women, children and the poor that ultimately distinguished her as a true medical pioneer.  

“If society will not admit of woman's free development, then society must be remodeled.”

-- Elizabeth Blackwell


A young girl with a dream to heal

Grows up in an unjust world

Where only men can operate.

As smart as the brightest man,

She learns everything she can,

But her dream will just have to wait.


            She wants to be a doctor.

            "How can she hope to succeed?"

            She wants to be a doctor.

           "A mental contusion, indeed!"


Twenty-seven, twenty-eight rejections

At last an acceptance note.

So many say, “She’ll never pass!”

She proves she can make the cut.

Opens doors that had once been shut.

Graduates first in her class!


            She wants to be a doctor.

            "What a bizarre request!"

            She wants to be a doctor.

            "How did she pass the test?"

            She wants to be a doctor.

            "Only a man can endure!"

            She wants to be a doctor.

            "Only a man for sure!" 


BRIDGE:  Such a narrow thought: “Dr.” has to be a man.

                   Then along comes Bessie with her plan.


            She wants to be a doctor.

            "The medical world is inflamed!"

            She wants to be a doctor.

            "Maybe we should feel ashamed."

            She wants to be a doctor!

            "Nothing will be the same!"

            She wants to be a doctor!       


© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP)

 Good for Me

 (by Jonathan Sprout, Dave Kinnoin & Jimmy Hammer)


Pretty amazing gift you gave to me --

Helping me understand what I can be.

Talk about self-esteem,

Now I have a dream to dream.

And before this moment slips away,

There’s something that I want to say.


            It’s good for me

            That I found you

            To be the special someone

            I can look up to.

            You’re with me now

            You’ll always be    

            Yes, you’ll always be 

            Good for me.


You always smiled and said the future’s bright

Now I can look ahead and feel all right

Wherever the road may lead

I know … I will succeed

‘Cause I’ll always have a part of you

To keep me safe and get me through




            I will honor every gift you give me.

            Every day I live you’re with me in my heart.

            ‘Cause I can see myself reflecting you

            And totally respecting you

            In everything I say and everything I do.


 Refrain © 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP), Song Wizard Music (ASCAP &, Sync Track (ASCAP)

He Will Not Give Up

(About Jonas Salk)

(By Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin)

Jonas Salk (1914-1995), "the man who saved the children," developed a vaccine for polio, a terrifying disease that crippled and killed people.  In the 1950s, when tens of thousands of children were infected each year, Dr. Salk worked in his laboratory sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, searching for a way to stop the epidemic.  Volunteering to be among the first "human guinea pigs," he injected himself with his experimental vaccine to prove it was safe and effective.  Fueled by remarkable idealism, he refused to patent his vaccine so that it could be distributed freely around the world.

"Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality." -- Jonas Salk



Polio sweeps through the cities.

It frightens and cripples and kills.

This virulent virus is sneaking inside us

Completely resistant to pills.

It’s hard to detect this invader

That seems to come out of thin air.

A doctor works late

With a crushing weight

On his shoulders he chooses to bear.



            He will not give up.

            He will not give in.

            He will find the answer

            Through thick and thin.

            Every day and night

            He will fight the fight,

            And he’ll win.

            He will not give up.


There in his lab he is working.

Seldom takes time to relax.

His focus is keen to find a vaccine

To stop this disease in its tracks.

His family suffers his absence.

They know he must finish the race.

But the children roll by and the parents cry,

And he knows he must keep up the pace. Refrain 

So little time,

“The future lies in imagination

So much to do.

And in the courage of those who will dare.”



 Copyright 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)

Peanut Man

(About George Washington Carver)

(By Jonathan Sprout, Dave Kinnoin & Jimmy Hammer)

George Washington Carver (1864?-1943), known as the Peanut Man, helped countless poor Southerners survive as farmers.  Born a slave, he overcame harsh racial prejudice to earn two college degrees, becoming one of the most famous scientists of his time.  His research reportedly led to the development of 300 products made from peanuts.  From the sweet potato, he found more than 100 uses.  A soft-spoken, modest man, Professor Carver donated his savings near the end of his life so his research could continue.  On his gravestone is written: "He found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world."

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting system,

through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."  -- George Washington Carver



       Hey, Mr. Peanut Man! 

        I said hey, hey, Mr. Peanut Man!   

       You sure knew what a peanut could do.  

       It was you who’s pursue every new nutty clue.  

       Here’s to The Peanut Man!


Cocoa, cooking oil, peanut beverage flakes

Flour, milk & lard, tasty peanut cakes

Lotion for your skin, nitroglycerine

What would he dream up?  What would he dream up next?




Wall board, diesel fuel, Tutti Frutti cheese

Pickels, shaving cream, cattle feed and grease

Laxatives and paste.  Nothing went to waste.

Oh, what would he dream up?  What would he dream up next? 




He could serve a truly scrumptious meal.

The salad, soup and chicken had delectable appeal.

The candy, cake and ice cream were, in fact ideal!

Then he would reveal none of it was real!

Well, actually, it was made entirely from peanuts! 




Coffee, vinegar, cream and glue

Buttermilk, dandruff cure, shampoo… 

Rubber, Peanut Lemon Drink

Salad oil, curds and ink… 

Quinine, metal polish, dye

Insecticide! I testify! 

Mayonnaise and chili sauce…

Carver is the peanut boss! 


© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP), Song Wizard Music (ASCAP) & Sync Track (ASCAP)


(By Jonathan Sprout, Dave Kinnoin & Jimmy Hammer) 

Pocahontas (1595?–1617) was a legendary Native American princess who, at the age of about eleven, may have saved the life of English explorer Captain John Smith.  She was a brave, compassionate girl who later helped the colonists by bringing them food. Without her, Smith claimed, the English would not have survived.  She inspired a rare peace between two nations with her vision of cooperation between the European settlers and her own people.  A distinguished ambassador, peacemaker and trusted friend, her legacy lives on with the survival of a colony that led to the birth of a nation.


I was captured by Algonquin warriors.

Taken to the Indian King.

Brought forth in a crowded longhouse.

She sat, listening.

Thrown down on my knees, they bound me.

I gasped for my final breath.

She rose, threw her arms around me,

Saving me from certain death.

The braves were pacing.

My heart was racing.

How would I survive?



            Pocahontas, Pocahontas        

            Saved my life that night!

            Pocahontas, Pocahontas        

            Saved my life that night!


One cold winter I returned

To Werowocomoco.

She rushed to my hut concerned

With secrets I must know.

Stern whispers and teary eyes

Warned me of a night attack.

I left ‘ere the moon could rise,                       

Gave thanks, and safely made it back.

I do confess her thoughtfulness

Kept this man alive!




Chief Powhatan’s daughter

Secured my release --

This Princess of friendship and peace.




© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP), Song Wizard Music (ASCAP) & Sync Track (ASCAP)

Si Se Puede! (Yes We Can!)

(About Cesar Chavez)

(By Jonathan Sprout, Dave Kinnoin & Jimmy Hammer)

Cesar Chavez (1927-1993), one of America's greatest labor leaders and civil rights activists, dedicated himself to improving the lives of America's poorest workers.  Through an organization he helped to establish that eventually became known as the United Farm Workers, he used nonviolent strikes and boycotts to get higher wages and better working conditions for Mexican American migrant workers. His ultimate weapon in his fight for justice against the rich and powerful California growers was truth.  An intelligent man of soft-spoken humility and constant hope, he taught us that with cooperation and respect, we can accomplish the impossible.

"True wealth is not measured in money or status or power.  It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire." -- Cesar Chavez



In these hot dusty fields we harvest the grapes.

From dawn until dark, we are locked in our fates.

These jobs are like prisons. Nobody escapes.


A dollar an hour is all they will pay.

It’s hardly enough to survive through the day.

We live for the hope there must be a better way.


But now, campesinos, they talk of a man

Who says we must stand and unite.



            Si se puede!  We can do it, yes we can.

            Si se puede!  Cesar Chavez has a plan.

            Si se puede!  We can do it, yes we can.

            He will help us unite as we stand for what right.  He’s our man!

            Si se puede, yes we can!


We strike –Huelga-- boycott.  We picket the gate.

The growers, they fight and they retaliate,

But Cesar says truth is much stronger than hate.

So we march from Delano and shout for la causa

Our campeon leading the way.




Bridge:  Si! Se puede --  un milagro

               Si! Viva la causa!

               Si! Se puede -- igualdad

               Un mejor manana


© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP), Sync Track (ASCAP)

The Least I Could Do

(About Jane Addams)

(By Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin)

Jane Addams (1860-1935) established a settlement house for poor immigrants in Chicago when she was 29 years old.  The success of this community center, known as Hull House, inspired the creation of hundreds of centers across America.  Though sometimes harshly criticized by the newspapers, she worked tirelessly for more than forty years, teaching the less fortunate how to help themselves.  A national women's rights advocate and an international leader in the peace movement, she was eventually known as America's greatest living woman.  In 1931, this "First Lady of Peace" became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

"America's future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live." -- Jane Addams



On an early fall day she first opened the door

At Hull House, Chicago’s west side.

With the hungry, the helpless, the sick and the poor,

That’s where she would reside. 

She became Sister Jane to the immigrants there

As she taught them the skills to survive.

Bringing strength to the weak with respect and great care,

Miss Jane Addams came alive. 

Finally there was laughter.

And the love in that neighborhood grew.

And if you’d asked why she moved there,

She’d probably say 



        It was the least I could do --  

        The most I could give. 

         In my heart, I knew 

         It was the only way I could live -- 

         The least I could do. 


In the year 1917, the world was on fire

As battle cries blazed through the land.

But her passion for peace was so strong a desire,

She made a lonely stand. 

And when all the fighting was over,

And the winds of war no longer blew,

If you’d asked why she stood her ground, she’d probably say




 Always working for justice

And one of the few

Who would say, if you asked,

Why she lived life that way 




© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)

What He Wrote

(About Thomas Jefferson)

(By Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin)

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) wrote the most influential document in American history -- the Declaration of Independence.  As president, he more than doubled the size of the United States and sent explorers Lewis and Clark to the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase.  He was a dreamer with a passion for books and knowledge, concerned above all with ideas.  A farmer, scientist and philosopher, he found the words to express the highest of human aspirations, becoming the leading spokesman in the revolution of ideas that transformed America.  Jefferson changed the world with what he wrote.

"We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable: that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty and the pursuit of happiness." -- Thomas Jefferson



Seventh & Market Street, Philadelphia, PA,

Second floor apartment, hot summer day.

Young Mr. Jefferson, thoughts swirling in his head,

Holds high his hopes and dreams that freedom isn’t dead.

History is on the brink.His pen dips into the ink.



         What he wrote 

         It was a Declaration of an emerging nation.  


We hold these truths to be self-evident

All men are created equal.

And on it went.

Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness…

He spelled democracy and nothing less.

He made it crystal clear

So all the world could hear. 




Let justice kick the King out and send his troops away.

Let freedom bells ring out our Independence Day!



© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) & Song Wizard Music (ASCAP)