Friday, March 16, 2012

Women's History Month Goes Gaga

Ages and ages ago I posted a music video parody of the song Too Late to Apologize, made by a team of educators as a resource for teachers. It shows the founding fathers drafting the Declaration of Independence, and is so well done that - to this day - I still prefer that version over the original. Seriously. It's brilliant. (Hit that link if you haven't seen it yet.)

Anyway, the folks behind the video, Soomo Publishing, have released another historical parody this month in honor of Women's History Month. This time it's a parody of Lady Gaga's Bad Romance, and the subject is the women's suffrage movement - specifically honoring Alice Paul and her contribution to women's rights.

These videos are a fabulous tool for educators in that they're entertaining, relevant, and filled with history. In fact, here are some of the lyrics to Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage:

It's gotten ugly
They passed the 15th
Still women have no right
Nor guarantee
To liberty
Child, health, wealth
Or property
Hey! We’ll raise our banner
Across this land hey!
‘Cause franchise isn’t just
The right of a man
Yuh, yuh, yuh, it’s universal!
Yuh, yuh, yuh, universal!
You know we don't want to
Take freedoms from you
Just want our rights and nothing less
We cry for freedom
Oh, hear our voice
And see we’re equal to all men!
Oh oh oh oh...
We the whole people
Not just male citizens
Formed this most perfect Union!
(Read the rest on Soomo's site here.)

And as catchy as the song is, I dare you to watch this without tearing up just a little:

[Note that the video parallels Gaga's original with some mildly disturbing imagery, so this may not be appropriate for the very young.]

Here's hoping Soomo makes these history parodies a regular feature.


  1. Have you seen the History Teachers on YouTube parody of Bad Romance? It's about the French Revolution. They also have a bunch of other songs too, my personal favourite being about the Plague.

  2. I found both of these a couple weeks ago, and I already shared them with my students. We did the DoI at the beginning of the year, but we are just getting into women's suffrage, so totally apropos. :)

  3. Awesome video - gave me goosebumps. I'm taking Canadian history this semester (I am Canadian) and we spent a class on women's sufferage in Canada. I don't know what it's like in the States, but the SAD thing was that once women got the right to vote, hardly any of them exercised it. Even today voter turnout is rediculously low. If those women who fought so hard could see what we've done with their sacrifice, they'd be badly shocked! :P

  4. I shared this video on my FB page. People should be reminded about our history and that we are living history, that we should keep fighting for rights that are trying to be taken away from us. Thanks for sharing!

  5. john (the hubby of Jen)March 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Awesome. The guy with the note from his mom hit me hard.

  6. YES! I found "Too Late to Apologize" a few years ago and I LOVE it. I absolutely prefer it to the original. Thanks for posting this one. I was hoping they would do another.

  7. That's amazing and I like the earlier one too. Thanks so much for sharing it. I second the other person who mentioned that there is that other group doing music parodies for history because they are great too.

  8. Have you seen any of the horrible histories stuff from the UK. It's all about making history fun/interesting for kids as well and has become a massively popular kids show over here.

    They also do parody songs, my faveourite one is about Dick Turpin

  9. That's a great vid! :D

  10. This is made of awesome. Thank you so much for pointing me to this! As an 8th grade teacher, I am SO going to,show this to my students.

  11. I giggled like a twit at "I wanna wear pants". :D

    I like this.

  12. I cried a little and then I had to explain why to my husband. I'm glad we have the right to vote, but as long as there's a 10 inch shaming wand involved in the abortion debate, we still have a long way to go. Makes me want to wear a suffrage ribbon...

  13. I highly recommend watching the movie Iron Jawed Angels, it is about that era and movement and is horrifyingly realistic. Women were arrested for their peaceful demonstrations and were sometimes sent to psychiatric hospitals.

  14. You are right, it's nigh impossible not to tear up which is annoying because I have roommates and I'M SUPPOSED TO BE STRONG DANG IT!

    Also, have you seen the fifth grade girl who sings the Bill of Rights to Poker Face? (Can't remember where I got linked to it, but searching Epbot doesn't pull anything up so I feel safe pointing you to it.) It's not the most well-put-together thing in the world, but she did an awesome job rewriting the lyrics. And I love her, because this is exactly how I learned half my schoolwork growing up (12th grade civics: rewriting all the Schoolhouse Rock songs to include EVERYTHING!)

  15. Tear up a little? I've got tears streaming down my cheeks and dripping on my lap. Then again, I cry at the end of Mary Poppins. Every. Time.

    I somehow missed your "no apologies" post, so thanks for linking back to it. Great song--video would have been even better without the bizarro ending, but just the audios are fantastic as they are. The things that were so crucial to both those videos were the music and the actors; if they had not had such moving faces for the leads, or such incredible voices to carry the passion of the "stories," these would be so much less powerful.

  16. That video literally gave me goosebumps... Thanks for sharing!

  17. Aww, it gave me goosebumps. And then I had to go and read all about the US women's suffrage movement and Alice Paul, because I'm more familiar with Emmeline Pankhurst here in the UK.

    This is after I'd told my other half to shut up, because he was shouting "Why are you watching Lady Gaga?" from the kitchen. Where he was cooking tea. Because I'm alive in 2012 and I have a job and the right to vote and housework is (more-or-less) equally shared and we don't have to worry about being married or anything. Excuse me, can't see what I'm typing any more, my eyes have gone all blurry for some reason...

  18. Thank you so much for posting this video! I sent it to all my girls!

  19. My neighbor works at Soomo! I'll have to let him know you liked it.

  20. The screen is a little blurry for some reason. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Amazin! Bravo this is a great video they should show this to every woman who dont vote. Just to show them what are formother's went trew for us.


  22. That was really well done. I didn't think I would react but the vote at the end got me. Thanks for the link!

  23. I know I'm late, but thanks so much for linking to this amazing video. I definitely teared up and was amazed to catch all the real history included.


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