Susan B. Anthony
by Mike Wilson
Has your choir ever seen a Susan B. Anthony dollar? Ever even heard of Susan B. Anthony? She is the first American female to be represented on U.S. currency. Maybe this song is your choir's first introduction. It tells of two of her important accomplishments. As a human rights leader, she was in the fight to abolish slavery in America. A fight which, ultimately, was won. She was also an instrumental leader in the Women's Suffrage Movement. In case that's a new phrase for your students, it means the right for women to vote. She would help win that fight as well, but not until 1920. That's only about a hundred years ago! She has an interesting history, and it would be worth your time to investigate, if you're looking for ways to connect your music across the curriculum. Renowned documentarian Ken Burns even released a film in 1999 about her and fellow early feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton called, "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story Of Elizabeth Cady Stanton And Susan B. Anthony."
We present this new song about her in honor of her 200th birthday on February 15, 2020, but of course, it is timeless and you can use it going forward as much as you like. It is simple and unison with a country/folk flavor, and a hooky refrain. You'll want to keep it at a mezzo forte dynamic throughout to maintain the excitement level. Along with the claps in the refrain at each “Susan B. Anthony,” you can get creative and give your kids a variety of percussion instruments to play along with the two claps. A tambourine, claves, woodblock, cowbell, whatever you have in your inventory, would work nicely.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.