Elbow Room - E8

Episode 8 "Elbow Room"

Singer: Sue Manchester

Song Writer: Lynn Ahrens

Original Air Date: May 22, 1976

This song teaches about Westward Expansion, starting from the 13 original colonies, showcasing the Louisiana Purchase, and quickly showing the Oregon Trail, wagon trains, California Gold Rush, and transcontinental railroad. It was voted the 25th best song on the 30th Anniversary DVD Top 25.


One thing you will discover

When you get next to one another

Is everybody needs some elbow room, elbow room


It's nice when you're kinda cozy, but

Not when you're tangled nose to nosey, oh

Everybody needs some elbow, needs a little elbow room


That's how it was in the early days of the U.S.A.

The people kept coming to settle though

The east was the only place there was to go


The president was Thomas Jefferson

He made a deal with Napoleon

How'd you like to sell a mile or two

(Or three, or a hundred, or a thousand?)


And so, in 1803 the Louisiana Territory was sold to us

Without a fuss

And gave us lots of elbow room


Oh, elbow room, elbow room

Got to, got to get us some elbow room

It's the west or bust

In God we trust

There's a new land out there

Lewis and Clark volunteered to go

Goodbye, good luck, wear your overcoat!

They prepared for good times and for bad (and for bad)

They hired Sacagawea to be their guide

She led them all across the countryside

Reached the coast

And found the most

Elbow room we've ever had


The way was opened up for folks with bravery

There were plenty of fights

To win land rights

But the West was meant to be

It was our Manifest Destiny!


The trappers, traders, and the peddlers

The politicians, and the settlers

They got there by any way they could (any way they could)

The Gold Rush trampled down the wilderness

The railroads spread across from east to west

And soon the West was opened up for - opened up for good


And now we jet from east to west

Goodbye New York, hello L.A.

But it took those early folks to open up the way


Now we've got a lot of room to be

Growing from sea to shining sea

Guess that we have got our elbow room (elbow room)

But if there should ever come a time

When we're crowded up together

I'm sure we'll find some elbow room . . . up on the moon!


Oh, elbow room, elbow room

Got to, got to get us some elbow room

It's the moon or bust

In God we trust

There's a new land up there!