Bill of Rights Rap Lyrics
The Constitution was made for you
And friends it was made for me.
It laid down the law for the government
And said all people are free.
It made three parts to the government
To run this country of ours.
And it said, “No part can get too strong!”
That’s called the “balance of powers.”
We have a president and senators
And representatives, too,
A Supreme Court with lots of judges
And voters—yes folks, that’s you.
When the Constitution was written down,
Some started to scream and shout.
They said, “There are too many freedoms that
This document has left out!”
James Madison helped to fix it up
With some special guarantees.
We call these freedoms the Bill of Rights.
They’re our civil liberties.
This thing we call the Bill of Rights
Is the Amendments from one to ten.
Now listen closely while we rap them out,
‘Cause we aren’t goin’ through them again!
Number One says we’ve got freedom
Of religion and speech and press.
And we’ve got the right to assemble,
And to petition for redress.
Number Two says that this country
Needs to keep itself from harms,
So we need a state militia
And the people need to keep their arms.
Number Three says army soldiers
Don’t have to live with us.
If we don’t want them in our house
Then the government can’t fuss.
Number Four was written mainly
To keep police in line.
They need to have a warrant
To search your house or mine.
Number Five says no court can put you
On trial more than just one time.
You don’t have to testify against yourself
If they accuse you of a crime.
Number Six says if you’re on trial you
Must be told what the charges are.
You must have a lawyer, and witnesses
Must testify before the bar.
Number Seven is a special guarantee
So you need have no fears.
It gives each citizen the right to trial
By a jury of your peers.
Number Eight says it’s wrong for punishment
To be unusual or cruel.
And your fine or bail can’t be so high
That it goes against the rule.
Number Nine was put in there
To let the government know
That we all have a lot more freedoms
Than this Bill of Rights can show.
Number Ten says the people have the power
In the American institution.
And the government can only do
What it says in the Constitution.
Now there’s a lot more we could rap about
That we don’t have time to say.
So we’re callin’ on you to think about
What it means to you today.
Though it’s been around 200 years
What it said back then is true.
The Constitution was made for me
And friends—it was made for you!
By Barbara and Jim Bongard - Permission granted for use on Constitution Day Project.
Originally published in Scholastic INSTRUCTOR Magazine, September 1987.