Make Your Kids Care About Voting Rights — Listen to This Great Vintage Album

In the late 90's, Joan Osborne, The Virtuals, and Etta James all came together to make an album with the Schoolhouse Rock crew. And rock it does.

school house rocks
Credit: ABC/Disney

The news from the Capitol this morning is especially dreary if you were hoping for some sort of voting equity moving forward. Two key voting rights bills were shouted down by Republicans this week, pretty much putting a coffin nail in Democratic attempts to ensure fair voting access for many people around the nation.

But, instead of wallowing in those omnipresent feelings of existential dread we’ve all been sharing for the last, oh, seven years, maybe a look to the future will help. How? Teach your kids about voting rights, of course! And not in a boring, social studies textbook sort of way, but the way people of a certain generation (X) learned about voting rights…and pretty much everything else.

With Schoolhouse Rock, duh!

In 1998, the gang at Schoolhouse Rock outdid themselves with an album recorded to benefit MTV’s Rock the Vote initiative. Filled with icons like The Roots and Etta James along with 90s icons like Joan Osborne and John Popper, this album is just what the doctor ordered to not only bring back some much-needed optimism but also to show your kids that a Bill isn’t just a Bill and that The Preamble to the Constitution is actually pretty amazing.

Everyone over the age of 40 learned almost everything they needed to know in life from Schoolhouse Rock, and this 90s-fied version of all of our faves is, I’m not gonna lie, pretty damned awesome. From John Popper singing The Preamble to The Sugarhill Gang covering Schoolhouse Rock classic Fireworks, this album will a) make you want to be 18 and voting for the first time again, b) teach your kids a thing or two about the history of voting (and maybe think you’re kinda weird for dancing around your kitchen singing about bills), and c) relieve your angst for a few minutes. Unless you’re Gen X. Our angst is never going anywhere.

Also, luckily, used copies of the Schoolhouse Rocks the Vote is available on Amazon, so you can dust off the old CD player and double-down on the nostalgia of it all.