Lyrics

Listen up! Learning rocks when you sing along.


Volume 1: Awesome Artists

1. Still Life

They painted still life for us
They paint still life

[CHORUS]

They paint still life, the chill life
The tasty food life, the plant life, the bland life
The music stand life
They paint
They paint still life

Jean Baptiste Chardin could paint an egg pan
Luis Melendez could paint a nice vase
Raphaelle Peale, he could, yeah, he could paint a meal
Ask Frans Snyders, “Hey, what you got for us?” and ooh…
He would paint you an eel

They paint still life, the chill life
The loaf of bread life, the jam life, the ham life
The windowsill life
Still life, chill life
They paint still life

CHORUS

Juan Sanchez Cotan could paint a lemon
Maria Oosterwyck could paint a candlestick
Bonjour, monsieur. Jacques Linard, yeah, he could paint a card
How ‘bout Madame Vallayer-Coster? Ooh…
She could paint you a jar!

They paint still life, the chill life
The blooming rose, the pipe life, the ripe life
The orange slice life
The still life, the chill life
They paint still life

CHORUS

They painted still life for us

Maria Merian drew bugs in Surinam
Abe van Beyeren could paint a good melon
Louise Moillon she could paint a peach
My man, Antoine Berjon could paint seashells at the beach

They painted still life and they’re still painting still life for us
They painted still life for us

They paint still life, the chill life
the loaf of bread life, the jam life, the ham life,
the window sill life

Still life, chill life
They painted still life for us
They paint still life

They painted still life for us

CHORUS

2. The Cubist Game

You start with a face that is framed by hair
Turn it into a circle and a square
Break it down into shapes and planes
And that’s the name of
The Cubist game

You take three rectangles, place them just so
Suddenly they’re a music trio
Build it up out of shapes and parts
And that’s the heart of
Cubist art

[CHORUS]

Circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles
Lines and angles all entangled
Mix it up, mix it up, mix it up

Collect bits of paper, place them hodgepodge
Add paint and words, now you’ve got a collage
Mix up things that you see every day
And that’s the way of
The Cubist play

CHORUS

You start with a face that is framed by hair
Turn it into a circle and a square
Break it down into shapes and planes
And that is the name of
The Cubist game

Mix it up, mix it up, mix it up, mix it
Mix it up, mix it up, mix it up, mix it
Break it down, break it down, break it down, break it 

And that’s the name of
The Cubist game

Mix it up, mix it up, mix it up, mix it
Mix it up, mix it up, mix it up, mix it
Break it down, break it down, break it down, break it 

That’s the Cubist game

3. Faith Ringold Has a Name

She was the youngest child
Her mother’s youngest child
And her grandmother’s grandchild
Whose mother’d been enslaved

She was her mother’s daughter
Her grandmother’s granddaughter
And her mother’s mother’s mother
taught her daughter how to quilt

[CHORUS]

Faith Ringgold paints in colors, colors bright and bold
Faith Ringgold has a story to be told
Faith Ringgold fashions fabric, fabric into frames
Faith Ringgold has a name, has a name

She grew up in the city
The city of all cities
In the city, New York City
She started making art

She took a boat to Paris
To see the art in Paris
But among the art in Paris
She didn’t see a quilt

CHORUS

She wanted rights for women
Rights for black Americans
She wanted equal rights for all
Of her family and friends

She went to the museums
She said to the museums
I want to see you hang a quilt
She was the youngest child
Her mother’s youngest child
And her grandmother’s grandchild
Whose mother’d been enslaved

She was her mother’s daughter
Her grandmother’s granddaughter
And her mother’s mother’s mother
taught her daughter how to quilt

CHORUS (repeat)

4. Van Gogh Was Good

Here’s a little story ‘bout a painter
He was born in Holland back in 1853
You could visit his museum if you’re in Amsterdam
His best friend was an artist named Paul Gauguin
To Expressionism he would be a patron saint
Van Gogh could paint

[CHORUS]

Van Gogh, Van Gogh
Van Gogh, Van Gogh
Van Gogh, Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh
Ooh, he was good
He was good

He gave us paintings of a city on a starry night
He painted sunflowers both dark and light
He spent some time in Paris where he learned a lot
Then headed home to Holland for a quiet spot
And now our story’s up to 1888
Van Gogh could paint

CHORUS

He painted cypress trees and fields of wheat on sunny days
Using swirls of wild colors in amazing ways
A painting of a mailman with free floating flowers
Today is worth many, many million dollars
If Vince had known that, I’m sure he would faint
And then get up and paint 

CHORUS

5. Leonardo Might Be My Hero

Leonardo might be my hero
If there were things he didn’t know
He would search high, he would search low

“How can we fly like the birds,” he wanted to know
“How can we swim like the fish,” he asked
He labored and designed a plan to build a helicopter
Devised a diving suit complete with a mask

Leonardo wrote backwards and forwards
You’d need a mirror to read the words he wrote
Leonardo looked upwards and downwards
Leonardo da Vinci wanted to explore the whole universe

[CHORUS]

Leonardo might be my hero
If there were things he didn’t know
He would search high, he would search low
Looking for answers to every question
And what he couldn’t find
Leonardo, what a guy, would invent them

“How does a mountain form?” he wanted to know
“How does the person move?” he mused
As traveled, he drew sketches of the landscape around him
Studied the human body and anatomy for clues

Leonardo was a painter and sculptor
You’d need a month or two to see all his work
Leonardo looked over and under
Leonardo da Vinci wanted to explore the whole universe

CHORUS

6. If Your Wanna Be Blake

[CHORUS]

If you wanna be like Blake
Have a passion to create
Dream all night, dream all day
See the world a different way
If you wanna be like Blake
Have a vision you illuminate

William Blake saw things that others didn’t see
(What did he see?)
Angelic figures in the fields (Hallelujah)
And an angel in a tree
Take a look at his books and you’ll see
Four angels thin and white, arms raised high in the starlight
Standing on a cloud above the world

CHORUS

William Blake knew things (Yeah) that others didn’t know
(Tell me, what’d he know?)
He envisioned a world of happiness
Sounds like a place I want to go
Take a look at his books and you’ll see
A man asleep at night, with dreams full of figures in the sunlight
Climbing up a staircase in the sky

CHORUS

William Blake saw things (Yeah) that others didn’t see
Brilliant pictures in his mind, and in his heart poetry
Take a look at his books and you’ll see
A tiger strong and bright, with eyes opened wide in the dark night Roaming deep in the woods

CHORUS (repeat)

7. I See Frida

I see a woman
She has a twin
I can see their hearts over their skin
They are dressed in two fashions, one is rich, one is poor
All around them is sky
They are sitting outdoors

[CHORUS]

I see a woman and I, I see Frida
I see Frida and I see me
I look in the mirror, who do I see?
I see Frida and Frida sees me
I look in the mirror, who do I see?
I see Frida and Frida sees me

I see a woman
In a white headdress
I can see her head, no more and no less
Drawn right on her forehead is the face of a man
Diego is on her mind
I see and I understand

CHORUS

I see a woman
In front of a tree
And on her shoulder, there’s a small monkey
She wears a curious necklace, twisted, thorny vines
And in the center a bird hangs
And I see Frida
I see Frida
I see Frida, and I, I, I, I see me

CHORUS

8. Pop, Pop, Pop

If I could pick a person
To be a friend of mine
I’d pick Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop

Roy took everyday stuff
Stuff that people like parents might call fluff
And turned it into art
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop

[CHORUS]

And his girls said
I’m sinking, I’m sinking, I don’t care
I’d rather sink than sink than call Brad for help
I’m sinking, I’m sinking, I’m sinking
In all this pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop

Roy took comic books
The kind that kids might like to look at
And made it into art
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop

CHORUS

If I could pick a person
To be a friend of mine
I’d pick Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop

Roy Licthenstein
Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop!

9. Yes? NOguchi

Have you ever seen the globular?
The polished metal globular?
That’s shape is somewhat ovular
But not exactly so?

[CHORUS]

Yes? NOguchi
It’s the work of Isamu Noguchi
He said sculptures move because we move
And he looked to the earth to find his groove
Blue-green sea, cherry tree, Noguchi

Have you seen the Uncle Takagi?
The terracotta Takagi?
That is a head with no body
But doesn’t seem to know?

CHORUS

Have you ever seen Shirofujin?
The white stoneware Shirofujin?
That looks a bit like a clothespin
But is a lady though?

CHORUS

10. Song of the Unknown Artist

Long ago in Egypt someone designed the pyramids
With the Sphinx beside them
And that’s not all kids
The nomads out in Asia shaped deer out of gold
And somewhere in Greece someone made a mold of Athena

[CHORUS]

I don’t know her name and I don’t know his face
But this much I do know, these artists were all great
They all made something beautiful for love, sometimes for fame
Thanks to them our world will never look the same

In France artists made stained glass cathedrals
And Native North Americans painted shields with eagles
The potters of Japan made cups out of clay
And somewhere in Peru a young artist took a day and made a basket

CHORUS

We can think of the artists we know from the museum
And wonder about what it’d be like to be ‘em
There are artists in every country on big old planet Earth
Whose names we do not know, we don’t know their face
Even though what they create’s amazing

Yesterday in Mexico someone made a candle tin
And pretty, painted egg was made by a Romanian
The weavers down in Ghana made a cloth called kente
And right next door to you a young artist learns the way to quilt a blanket

CHORUS

11. Mary, Mary What Ya Got?

When Mary was born lots of people thought
Girls shouldn’t think, didn’t need to be taught
Mary wanted more, she knew in her heart
She’d live a life that was all about art

[CHORUS]

Mary, Mary, what ya got?
Mary Cassatt
She gave it a shot
She printed and painted
We like her a lot!

Mary moved to Europe with great big dreams
Of making a splash in the world art scene
But when she arrived, she found out pretty fast
The French scene was stuck in the past

CHORUS

Finally, Mary found, she had a place
With a group that shared her artistic taste
They painted impressions of things that they saw
Some people booed, but they still gave it their all
Yeah, they gave it their all

CHORUS (repeat)