This Samantha excerpt is taken from Samantha Learns a Lesson. The words and music were written by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford. I actually couldn’t find just the song for Samantha on YouTube, but it’s on the whole soundtrack link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2iJE8tiIT8.
In 1904, Samantha was being raised by her grandmother, but sometimes she didn’t know who to listen to. See, her grandmother had one set of rules, sort of old fashioned, and her Aunt Cornelia was much more modern! Grandmary didn’t even think women should vote, and Aunt Cornelia was out there giving speeches trying to get the vote for women!
Samantha: Grandmary had a set of rules she tells me everyday. She doesn’t like the things that Aunt Cornelia has to say.
Grandmary: Girls must wear long underwear, from September to July.
Cornelia: Long Underwear is silly! Rip it off! Let it fly!
Grandmary: Ladies must speak softly, and young ladies never fight.
Cornelia: Women have to speak up! We must fight for what is right!
Grandmary: Ladies should not ever gather in public places.
Cornelia: We’re meeting for the march today – come proudly show your faces!
Grandmary: Ladies should not make spectacles of themselves.
Samantha: “I’m not sure if I know what a spectacle is, or whether or not I should be one. Here I am in the middle and I’m feeling so alone, I guess I’ll have to figure out some rules of my own!”
Samantha’s Uncle Guard could tell that she was really confused so he took her for a spin in his automobile.
Samantha: “Uncle Guard, what do you do when you’re caught between two different people telling you two different things?”
Uncle Guard: “Well Sam, I think there’s only one thing you can do:
Follow your heart when it’s hard to know what to do. Follow your heart and the answer will come to you. You can listen to others and hear what they say, then make up your mind in your very own way.”
Both: “Follow your heart when it’s hard to know what to do. Follow your heart and the voice that’s inside of you. When you just don’t know what’s right or wrong, when confusion is pulling you apart, use your head and then follow your heart.”
And it’s lucky Uncle Guard gave her that advice because soon she was faced with some difficult situations. She met a girl named Nellie. Nellie was a servant girl working at the Rylands next door. Samantha found out that Nellie had never been to school, so she began teaching her.
But then, some of Samantha’s snooty friends told her that it just wasn’t right to be spending time with a servant girl. And Grandmary wasn’t pleased at all.
Grandmary: “It’s all right if you are helping Nellie by teaching her, Samantha, but young ladies are not friends with servants.”
Samantha knew that she was only supposed to be helping Nellie, but she began to feel that Nellie was her friend. Samantha was so confused. But then she remembered what her Uncle Guard had told her:
Samantha: “Follow your heart when it’s hard to know what to do. Follow your heart and the answer will come to you. You can listen to others and hear what they say, then make up your mind in your very own way.”
Samantha knew in her heart that Nellie was her friend. And even though Samantha knew she was teaching Nellie, Nellie was teaching her some important things too.
Nellie had worked in a factory and she told Samantha about the terrible conditions there. So when Samantha was entering a speaking contest, she decided she must speak out about what she had learned.
Speaking Contest Judge: “And now our last contestant: Miss Samantha Parkington.”
Samantha: “Progress in Modern America. Americans believe that our factories are the finest in the world. We are proud of them. But Americans are proud of being truthful too. To be truthful, we must say that factories make things fast and cheap, but that is because… because children work there. Children should not be working in factories; they are dirty, dangerous places and the children are paid hardly any money.
I learned this from a girl who worked there. Her name is Nellie and she is my friend. Americans should know the truth about factories so they can change them.
If we take care of the children like my friend, Nellie, then we Americans can truly be proud of our factories, and our progress!”
Speaking Contest Judge: “And the first place winner is: Miss Samantha Parkington!”
Grandmary: “You’re right, Samantha. Nellie is your friend. You really are quite a fine young lady!”
“Follow your heart when it’s hard to know what to do. Follow your heart and the voice that’s inside of you. When you just don’t know what’s right or wrong, when confusion is pulling you apart, use your head and then follow your heart.”