I'm Just a Bill - E6

Episode 6 "I'm Just A Bill"

Singer: Jack Sheldon, John Sheldon

Song Writer: Dave Frishberg

Original Air Date: March 27, 1976

This song uses the perspective of a bill singing a song about being stuck in committee to explain how a bill becomes a law. It was voted #2 on the 30th Anniversary DVD Top 25.


Boy: Woof! You sure got to climb a lot of steps to get to this Capitol Building here in Washington. But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?


Bill: I'm just a bill

Yes, I'm only a bill

And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill

Well, it's a long, long journey

To the capital city

It's a long, long wait

While I'm sitting in committee

But I know I'll be a law someday

At least I hope and pray that I will

But today I am still just a bill


Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage


Bill: Well I got this far. When I started, I wasn't even a bill, I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called their local Congressman and he said, "You're right, there ought to be a law." Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I became a bill, and I'll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.


I'm just a bill

Yes, I'm only a bill,

And I got as far as Capitol Hill

Well, now I'm stuck in committee

And I'll sit here and wait

While a few key Congressmen discuss and debate

Whether they should let me be a law

How I hope and pray that they will

But today I am still just a bill


Boy: Listen to those congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you?


Bill: Yeah, I'm one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favorably, otherwise I may die.


Boy: Die?


Bill: Yeah, die in committee. Oh, but it looks like I'm going to live! Now I go to the House of Representatives, and they vote on me.


Boy: If they vote yes, what happens?


Bill: Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.


Boy: Oh no!


Bill: Oh yes!


I'm just a bill

Yes, I'm only a bill

And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill

Well, then I'm off to the White House

Where I'll wait in a line

With a lot of other bills

For the president to sign

And if he signs me, then I'll be a law

How I hope and pray that he will

But today I am still just a bill


Boy: You mean even if the whole Congress says you should be a law, the president can still say no?


Bill: Yes, that's called a veto. If the President vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote on me again, and by that time you're so old . . .


Boy: By that time it's very unlikely that you'll become a law. It's not easy to become a law, is it?


Bill: No!


But how I hope and I pray that I will

But today I am still just a bill


Congressman: He signed you, Bill! Now you're a law!


Bill: Oh yes!