"Elbow Room" is a song in Schoolhouse Rock!, which can be heard in America Rock. The song teaches us about the U.S. territorial expansion and the Manifest Destiny.


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 Sacajawea 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!