Unpack Your Adjectives


First Aired:1975
Lyrics & Music: George Newall
Performed by:Blossom Dearie
Designed by:Tom Yohe
Animation by:Phil Kimmelman and Associates

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This is the first of several songs written by George Newall (a music major turned advertising copywriter). The demo was originally sung by Bob Dorough, but Blossom Dearie recorded the final version, and Bob got to be the voice of the turtle.

* Trivia from
'SchoolHouse Rock: The Official Guide'.

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Came home from camping last spring.
Saw people, places and things.
We barely had arrived,
Friends asked us to describe
The people, places and every last thing.
So we unpacked our adjectives.

I unpacked "frustrating" first.
Reached in and found the word "worst."
Then I picked "soggy" and
Next I picked "foggy" and
Then I was ready to tell them my tale,
'cause I'd unpacked my adjectives.

Adjectives are words you use to really describe things,
Handy words to carry around.
Days are sunny or they're rainy
Boys are dumb or else they're brainy
Adjectives can show you which way.

Adjectives are often used to help us compare things
To say how thin how fat how short how tall.
Girls who are tall can get taller,
Boys who are small can get smaller,
Till one is the tallest
And one is the smallest of all.

We hiked along without care.
Then we ran into a bear!
He was a hairy bear!
He was a scary bear!
We beat a hasty retreat from his lair,
And described him with adjectives!

Whoah! Boy, that was one big, ugly bear!

You can even make adjectives out of the other parts of speech, like verbs or nouns. All you have to do is tack on an ending, like "ic" or "ish" or "ary". For example, this boy can grow up to be a huge man, but still have a boyish face. "Boy" is a noun, but the ending "ish" makes it an adjective. "Boyish": that describes the huge man's face. Get it?

Next time you go on a trip,
Remember this little tip:
The minute you get back,
They'll ask you this and that.
You can describe people, places and things.
Simply unpack your adjectives.
You can do it with adjectives.
Tell them about it with adjectives.
You can shout it with adjectives.

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