Viral Videos & Politics | Teaching Notes

October 14, 2020

Welcome to Teaching Notes - a blog series written by a teacher to help other teachers #TeachtheSongbook. 

 By GASF Volunteer: Sue Ackley 


While in the throes of the COVID-9 pandemic, political unrest, and a 2020 contemptuous presidential race, Randy Rainbow has lightened things up with his musical parodies.


Image from the Songbook Foundation's current exhibit installation titled, Of Thee I Sing: Politics on Stage. Visit our digital exhibit here


Who is Randy Rainbow?


“Randy Rainbow is an American comedian, actor, singer, writer and satirist best known for his popular series of musical parodies and political spoofs, which have garnered him international acclaim.” Read more about him here.



What's been said about Randy Rainbow?


  • “Think of him as a modern-day Gilbert and Sullivan, or the millennial version of the piano-playing Mark Russell or Tom Lehrer — the key difference being that his get-it-out-fast production marathons and savvy use of social media bring his commentary to the public quickly, directly and with no filter.” Read more about him here.

  • “Creatively precocious, elegantly loquacious, clever and audacious, funny and vivacious!" ― Dick Van Dyke.

  • You are amazing. Thank you for making us laugh." ― Lea Thompson

  • That was virtuoso, Randy! In every department, in every way! Best wishes, Peter." ― Peter MacNicol

  • Read more reviews here.


Start a discussion


  • How has social media influenced Randy Rainbow's success?

  • How would you classify Randy Rainbow?

  • Why study satirical songs?

  • When does political satire go too far?



Useful lesson plans and ideas




Where can I find out more?


KAMALA! to the tune of "Camelot"




When does political satire go too far?



Satire in Politics






Happy Teaching! Please share your success in the classroom with us by posting about your lesson plan using the hashtag #TeachtheSongbook and tagging us @songbookfoundation.


A Note from the Author: I can’t imagine life without music. When tunes float by, memories flood in. My foot starts tapping, fingers start snapping, and I get caught up in the emotion of the song.  For 28 years, music was always a key component in my classroom. It never failed to grab the attention of my students and made past cultures come alive with connections to daily life.


I’m excited to open up a discussion about the new Songbook exhibit, Of Thee I sing Politics on Stage. It’s a storytelling device where cultural values are seen in the context of music. Including musical theater in your classroom has never been easier. Join me in this forum where you can share your lesson plans and get ideas from others. It’s your point of access for creative ways to engage your students through music. Tell me what works and what’s missing. Let’s start a conversation and get those toes tapping.


 Sue Ackley

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