"13 Colonies" Musical Play by Bad Wolf Press
    • 30-minute musical play for grades 3-8
    • Includes the script, teacher's guide, and audio recording (which contains a vocal and instrumental version of each song)
    • Simple to do - no music or drama experience needed!

    Hosted by George and Martha Washington, our musical review of early American history covers the period from before the arrival of the Europeans through the signing of the Bill of Rights (in other words, around 1600 to 1791). Everyone seems to show up, from Leif Erickson, the Iroquois, and Ponce de Leon to Ben Franklin, Sibyl Luddington and The 13 Colony Singers. Keeping all the characters in line are the History Police, crashing the party whenever it looks like the hosts have started to "mess around with history."

    Please scroll down to read the script, listen to the songs, read reviews, and get all the details about the play (plot, curriculum/content, educational standards, and vocabulary).

    Item # Description Availability Qty Break Price Quantity
    PLAY - For individual teachers or directors
    Order 1 copy of play for each teacher/director who will be using it. Includes permission to print/photocopy for all participating actors. Mix and match 2 or more plays to get them for $35 each.
    Downloadable Version of Play
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Download 1
    Printed Version of Play
    - You will receive a Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1
    Duo Version - Download AND Printed Book
    - You will receive 1) a PDF and MP3 files, and 2) a Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1
    SITE LICENSE VERSION OF PLAY - For whole schools or grade levels
    Order 1 site license per school/site. Includes permission to print/photocopy for all participating students AND teachers. Why a site license? Because it's cheaper than ordering 3+ individual copies of the play.
    Downloadable Version of Site License
    - You will receive a PDF and MP3 files
    Download 1 $90.00
    Printed Version of Site License
    - You will receive 3 copies of the Spiral-Bound Book and Audio CD
    In Stock 1 $90.00
    Extra/Replacement Audio Recordings
    Downloadable Audio Files
    - You will receive a ZIP file containing individual MP3s
    Download 1 $12.00
    Audio CD
    In Stock 1 - 9
    Downloadable Audio Files (MP3) + Audio CD
    In Stock 1 $20.00
    Sheet Music
    Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF)
    Download 1 $12.00
    Printed Sheet Music
    In Stock 1 $12.00
    Downloadable Sheet Music (PDF) + Printed Sheet Music
    In Stock 1 $20.00


    "What America needs is some history catchy enough to hum along with." --George Washington

    First time doing a U.S. history play? This is your show! Since we're covering 200 years of material here, you won't delve into any one topic in depth -- it's just a great overview of the whole period. The songs are simple and catchy and the dialogue and curriculum are a bit less detailed and challenging than those in, say, American Revolution or U.S. Constitution.

    In short, 13 Colonies is a great complement to your curriculum resources in social studies. And, like all of our plays, this show can be used to improve reading, vocabulary, reading comprehension, performance and music skills, class camaraderie and teamwork, and numerous social skills (read about it!) -- all while enabling students to be part of a truly fun and creative experience they will never forget!

    Publication Information

    Author: Ron Fink (Composer) and John Heath (Book and Lyrics)
    ISBN: 978-1-886588-09-7
    © 1997 Bad Wolf Press, LLC

    Song Samples

    Full Song List

    1. "The Europeans Are Moving In"
    2. "I Drink from Every Fountain"
    3. "Sunrise to Sunset"
    4. "Name That Colony Theme"
    5. "A Million Things to Do"
    6. "The French Have Got To Go"
    7. "One Lump or Two?"
    8. "Sibyl Ludington!"
    9. "It’s Our Revolutionary War"
    10. "Boogie with the Bill of Rights"


    Flexible casting from 11-40 students.
    Use as many Vikings, Soldiers, Colonists, etc. as desired.
    One student can easily play several roles if needed. Note that
    roles are not gender specific: George Washington can easily
    be played by a girl, for example, and we recommend that the
    part of the Game Show Host be played by a girl as well.



    George Washington
    Martha Washington
    Leif Erickson (and Vikings)
    Ponce de Leon (and Soldiers)
    Colonial Boy and Girl
    Game Show Host
    Contestant (Betsy Smith)
    Benjamin Franklin
    British Soldiers
    Samuel Adams, John Adams, Abigail Adams
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Sibyl Ludington
    James Madison
    History Police (A and B)
    and a Chorus made up of all students who are not playing
    roles at the time.


    GEORGE WASHINGTON: Hello, my name is George Washington.

    MARTHA: And I'm Martha Washington. George and I are here to tell
    you the marvelous story of how our country began. It's a story filled with
    excitement and drama...

    GEORGE (interrupts): ...dreams of gold, the clash of nations...

    MARTHA: ...and best of all, we get to play the staring roles. Oh George,
    I never get tired of this. The bright lights! The photographers! It just makes
    me want to salute something!

    (LEIF ERICKSON enters loudly. He's accompanied by two other Vikings,
    carrying footballs)

    LEIF: I, Leif Erickson, claim this land for me and all the Vikings.

    GEORGE: Excuse me, but we're starting a show here.

    LEIF: I know. I visited America nearly 1000 years ago. I want some
    credit for being part of the thirteen colonies. I was here first.

    GEORGE: No you weren't.

    LEIF: I wasn't?

    MARTHA: Not at all. Native Americans were here hundreds of years
    before you arrived. Isn't that right, George?
    (GEORGE nods)

    LEIF: Oh. Sorry. Come on, men. Back to Minnesota.
    (THEY exit)

    GEORGE: In fact, let's take a visit to the eastern seaboard in the 16th
    century and see what's going on with the local tribes.
    (IROQUOIS enter)

    MARTHA: Here come some Iroquois-and George, they don't look happy.

      Song 1 - Listen now!

    We've lived on this land
    For hundreds of years
    There's no place that we haven't been
    But something is new
    The neighborhood's changed
    The Europeans are moving in.

    They unload their ships
    They back in their vans
    They're putting our lives in a spin
    We give them some corn
    They give us the mumps
    The Europeans are moving in.

    The isle of Manhattan we sold to the Dutch
    And people say it was a steal
    But have you all seen what they've done to the place?
    We got us a heck of a deal!

    They're shaking our hands
    And taking our lands
    Our patience is now wearing thin
    You never can tell
    But it doesn't bode well
    The Europeans are moving in.

    The Spanish are searching the South for some gold
    We don't think that they're gonna stop
    The French in the North want the timber and furs
    The New World's a great place to shop!

    We've lived on this land
    For hundreds of years
    There's no place that we haven't been
    But something is new
    The neighborhood's changed
    The Europeans are moving in.
    The Europeans are moving in and in and in and in.
    (THEY exit)

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: Let's move south to Florida to get a closer
    look at some of those new European explorers.

    MARTHA: I see a Seminole coming our way. Isn't it exciting?

    SEMINOLE (enters through audience with a tray filled with maps slung
    around his neck. Shouting): Programs, get your programs here! Charts
    of hidden treasures! Guides to the Everglades, right here! Directions to
    cities built of gold, maps to the houses of the stars! Programs, get your

    (PONCE DE LEON enters with SOLDIERS. THEY ALL carry cups and
    jugs of water)

    PONCE DE LEON (to Chart-seller): Hey, you! Wait! I am Ponce de Leon,
    famous Spanish explorer.

    SEMINOLE: Welcome. Wanna buy a map to a city paved with diamonds
    and rubies?

    PONCE DE LEON: Do you think I'm some dumb tourist? Get real. (pause)
    Though, I was wondering-you don't happen to have any maps to the fountain
    of youth, do you?

    SEMINOLE: Those are very hard to come by. Let me look.
    (rummages through maps)
    Ah, you're in luck! I have one left.

    PONCE DE LEON: You do?! I'll take it!

    SEMINOLE: That'll be a pound of gold.

    Well, don't just stand there, pay the man.
    (THEY do, as HE unfolds map)
    At last! This has been a very difficult journey.

      Song 2 - Listen now!

    Some people want adventure
    While others look for gold
    But me-I want some water
    To make me young once more.

    (SOLDIER offers him a cup of water)

    I drink from every fountain
    Though I don't have a thirst
    And ev'ry stream and river
    I think I'm gonna burst.
    (He grabs cup from SOLDIER)
    Is that something from a swamp?
    I'll try it!
    (lifts up cup)
    Here's to my new liquid diet!
    (takes a drink)

    Are my wrinkles disappearing?
    Is my grey beard turning black?
    Tell me boys, I must know the truth
    Am I younger? Am I taller?
    Has my bald spot gone away?
    Have we found the fountain of youth?

    (THEY examine PONCE closely)

    I drink from every fountain
    Though I don't have a thirst
    And ev'ry stream and river
    I think I'm gonna burst.
    (THEY ALL grab cups)
    Is that something from a swamp?
    I'll try it!
    (lift up cups)
    Here's to our new liquid diet!
    (take a drink)

    Are my wrinkles disappearing?
    Is my grey beard turning black?
    Tell me boys, I must know the truth
    Am I younger? Am I taller?
    Has my bald spot gone away?
    Have we found the fountain of youth
    The fountain of youth
    The fountain of youth?


    MARTHA WASHINGTON: Good evening, again. My husband George
    got a splinter from his wooden dentures and he's having his gums massaged.
    Isn't that remarkable? Now, where are we? Oh yes...The 1600s brought the
    British to America. You know what that means: Jamestown. John Smith.
    Pocahontas. You know the story. You've seen the movie. You've bought
    the product tie-ins.
    Life was tough on the first pioneers as they pushed out on the frontiers.
    Let's get up-close-and-personal with a young boy and girl.
    (BOY and GIRL enter)
    Welcome, pioneer boy and girl. Tell me, what's your life like?
    (MARTHA sits down and watches them during their song)

      Song 3 - Listen now!

    BOY :
    Out of bed but I'm still asleep
    Cut potatoes to feed the sheep

    Got no shoes but I'm out the door
    Bring in wood then I'm gone once more.

    Sunrise to sunset
    Gotta work all day
    Sunrise to sunset
    Not much time for play.

    Lots to do, there's no time for school
    Picking berries and spinning wool.

    Feed the hens and learn how to sew
    Weed the garden so our veggies grow.

    Sunrise to sunset
    Gotta work all day
    Sunrise to sunset
    Not much time for play.

    (during musical pause, BOY and GIRL take up new tasks)

    Gone all day as I tend the herds
    I just talk to the trees and birds.

    (This concludes the first one-third of the script.)

    Overall Customer Rating:
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    Customer Reviews: 4

    Santa Maria, CA

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    13 Colonies is the best!

    I did this play when I was in 5th grade- which was a long, long, time ago! So when I had the opportunity to pick a play for my theatre class, I jumped on the opportunity to have them perform "13 Colonies". The finale song, "Boogie with the Bill of Rights", is so catchy I still remember the lyrics 20-ish years later!

    Thanks Bad Wolf Press for creating such a memorable play! This script was easily adaptable for the number of students I had, it was lighthearted and funny, educational, and a whole lot of fun!

    I had homeschool students in 2nd grade to 8th grade, and they all enjoyed the play immensely! So it's great for all ages!

    New Castle, Colorado

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    • music
    • fun
    • educational
    An Unforgettable Experience

    Its always somewhat magical when, after long hours of rehearsing a play that you thought was humorous, to actually hear a real live audience laughing out loud. Such was the case when my 6th and 7th grade students performed '13 Colonies' for an audience of around 300 people. The kids were tickled that all their hard work had paid off and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The favorite song of both parents and students was 'Bill of Rights'. As we are now studying our country's founding, there are many lessons that just need review as the information was artfully woven into songs which they will never forget. This play was fun, educational and sooooo useful to provide students practice in public speaking. An unforgettable experience.
    Also, I love that Bad Wolf Press, not only puts out a high-quality product, but is also so easy to work with. They give you a free hand to make changes if needed. We took the Ben Franklin song, "A Million Things to do" and put some 1st grade kids in it with each saying a famous Franklin quote. I would highly recommend this company and the '13 Colonies' play to enhance your study of American History.

    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    So clever and fun

    I've taught music at Madrona Elementary for the last 14 years. Every year the fifth grade performs the "13 Colonies" play and I help them learn the songs. I am also a composer and I just wanted to let you how great that show is! So clever and fun, with just the right amount of humor and information. The flow is perfect and so entertaining. Every year I think how wonderful it is and how grateful I am to writers Ron Fink and John Heath. I love watching the kids experience the joy of performing and cooperation, but I also think they will never forget all the history they learned in those songs. So much better than reading it out of a book.
    I just wanted to say thank you!


    review-star review-star review-star review-star review-star

    • easy
    • fun
    • music
    • time
    Students Love It!

    My students LOVED this musical!! It was so easy to put together and they are still talking about it months later. I highly recommend it to any teacher considering it!

    Additional Comments and Reviews:

    "When my class did 13 Colonies this year, we had more fun than I've ever had with a class during my 22 years of teaching!"

    ---Kimberly Fee, Teacher (5th grade) Summit Charter, Porterville, CA

    "During my ten years teaching fifth grade, I alternated 13 Colonies with Incredible Westward Movement. The 8th grade history teacher told me that all MY students knew the 13 colonies and the basics about Manifest Destiny. Students had SO MUCH FUN learning the material and remembered it YEARS later. The plays help the historical characters come alive for the kids."

    ---Vicky Hill, Teacher (5th grade), Oak Grove School, CA

    "I liked the music, humor, and social studies standards the play contained. I loved that a musical dummy like me could put it on. The songs were great---I still sing them all the time. When students actively participate in a lesson, they are more likely to remember it."

    ---Amanda Dedmond, Teacher (5th grade), Cynthia Heights Elementary, Evansville, IN

    "13 Colonies was a first for me---a musical, that is. I was hooked after reading the script and listening to the CD. The tunes are catchy and the humor mature but appropriate. The word play was great and the adults in the audience never stopped laughing! The instructions and hints in the manual are terrific. We pulled off a spectacular show in four weeks."

    ---Diane Smith, Teacher (5th grade), Cascade Brook School, Farmington, ME

    "Lots of history really fast. Got kids thinking about history in a different way. As the music teacher, I can tie in what I am teaching with what the students are learning in class. Great stuff. I'm glad I found you."

    ---Heather-Lynne Shannon, Teacher (Music 1-6th), Montessori School of Florence, Florence, SC

    "The easy-to-follow script, catchy songs, and added humor make the play production a delight for all (students, teachers, and parents)! Besides using the plays to give my students another avenue to strengthen/inspire their creativity, the plays work well as supplemental textbooks/teaching aids. The students love to learn the information in the play format."

    ---Lisa Boothe, Teacher, (3rd/5th grade), Carl Hankey School, Mission Viejo, CA

    "Easy! Fun! User friendly! It had wonderful humor and catchy lyrics, and was easy to learn. The benefits was maximum learning; all the students were engaged."

    ---Shirley Jacobs, Teacher, (5th grade), Irving Elementary, Bloomington, IL

    "I see your display every year at the CAG (California Association for the Gifted and Talented) conference. Last year I finally bought 13 Colonies. It took me until this year to get brave enough to actually try doing it with my class. I was a nervous wreck. I want to tell you that it turned out better than I ever imagined. The kids were wonderful and learned so much history by doing this play. The parents raved about the performance. I'd like to thank you so much for making my debut as a director a success. You have me hooked!"

    ---Celeste Bordner, Teacher, (5th grade), Valley Springs, CA

    "It was fabulous! Not only was the show funny and entertaining but my class learned a lot about history. My principal was very impressed! I hated doing plays before and now I can't wait until next year!"

    ---Jennifer Baker, Teacher (4th grade), PS 184, New York, NY

    "I teach a 'History through Drama' class at our home school co-op at Heritage Christian School. I have bought tons of historical scripts but never before have I seen a script like 13 Colonies! My students never had so much fun!!! The schools and retirement homes where we performed raved about the show! We only had 13 kids in the class (5th-10th graders) and they did amazingly well at playing two or three characters each. The dialogue and songs were so funny that the audiences laughed throughout the musical. We added dancing to the 'One Lump or Two' song and the kids and audiences loved it. We did this play in only four weeks. Thank you so much for making this wonderful musical!!! You have blessed us so much! Looking forward to buying more of your scripts in the years to come."

    ---Susan Foster, Teacher, Heritage Christian School Home School Co-op, San Diego, CA

    "As with all Bad Wolf plays, there is a nice mix of humor and history in 13 Colonies. There are plenty of parts for kids who love to sing, and for those who want a big speaking part but who aren't so into the music."

    ---Melissa Tate, CT

    Common Core and Other National Standards

    History/Social Studies

    Language Arts

    National Core Arts Standards


    marvelous eastern seaboard mumps bode the Everglades dentures
    premise mahogany enforce maxim chat quiche
    adieu chapeau souffle family tree crumpet tyranny
    fling dramatic license hemisphere veneer et cetera nuisance
    behalf resolution rummages various intervals

    Historical Figures and Terms

    Vikings Manhattan New World Jamestown John Smith Pocahontas
    pioneers religious toleration Quaker William Penn Betsy Ross Franklin stove
    postmaster fur trade parliament Lafayette Paul Revere militia
    King George "Common Sense" Thomas Paine Valley Forge Nathan Hale Benedict Arnold
    Bill of Rights "No taxation without representation" Poor Richard's Almanac
    Number of questions: 0

    Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Wolf Products and Licensing

    How does your pricing and licensing work?

    A: In short: each teacher/director using the play should have a copy of it. That's it! Your purchase gives you the right to use the play with as many classes as you wish, to photocopy the script for your actors, and to put on as many performances as you wish. This one-time purchase gives you a lifetime license. See below for more information on site licenses (for 3+ teachers or whole schools).

    Q: What comes in the package?

    A: Every musical play comes with the script and a 12-page Teacher's Guide that provides lots of tips and advice for using the play from start to finish. It also includes the audio recording for the play, which has all the songs both WITH and WITHOUT vocals. Sheet music is NOT included with the basic package, but it is available for $12. Extra/replacement CDs are also available for $12.

    Every non-musical play comes with the script and the 12-page Teacher's Guide.

    Q: I'm just one teacher putting on a play. If I use the play with multiple classes, do I have to purchase multiple licenses?

    A: No! Your purchase gives you a lifetime license to be used with as many actors and classes as you wish. If other teachers/directors wish to use the play as well, they will need to purchase their own licenses.

    Q: Do I need to purchase scripts for students?

    A: No! Your purchase includes permission to photocopy the script for your actors.

    Q: What is a "site license"? How do I know if I need one?

    A site license is the economical choice when a whole school or grade level wants to put on the same play. Instead of each teacher/director having to purchase a script, the school/site can purchase a site license. This comes with three copies of the play (or one digital download) and permission to make copies for any additional participating teachers, as well as all the actors. You do NOT need to purchase both a site license and individual copies of the play; just buy one or the other.

    Q: I understand that I can get two or more scripts for $35 each. Do they have to be the same play?

    Nope! The discount applies whether you are purchasing multiple copies of the same show or single copies of multiple shows.

    Q: What is the difference between the printed and digital versions? Which one should I get?

    There is no difference in terms of content. The printed version of a musical play comes with an audio CD in a plastic sleeve in the back of the book. The digital version comes with two downloadable files: the script (PDF format) and the songs (individual MP3 files compressed in ZIP format). The advantage of the digital version is that you will not pay shipping and you can start using it instantly. Please read the question following this one about the technical requirements for digital files.

    Non-musical plays are available in the form of a printed book or a PDF file.

    Q: What are the technical requirements for the digital version?

    1. You will need to have Adobe Reader (free) or another software application that can open PDF files.
    2. You will need to be able to open ZIP files. The vast majority of computers should be able to do this without difficulty. If you wish to download the music directly to your phone or tablet, you will need to download an app that will open ZIP files. Many free ones are available.
    3. You will need to have some kind of audio player (such as iTunes or Windows Media Player) that will play MP3 files.

    Advanced technical knowledge is not required; but please note that we do not have the ability to offer technical support for issues related to digital files. If you are unsure, it is probably best to stick with the printed version.

    Q: What is your return/exchange policy?

    A: Bad Wolf proudly offers a 100% guarantee. You can always exchange a product for another or get a full refund. No time limits, no questions.

    Q: Is it OK if I edit the script?

    A: Yes! Consider the play to be a jumping-off point. You are always welcome to change or omit anything that doesn't work for your class, administration, or parents. You are welcome to rewrite lyrics, lines, or jokes -- or add your own! (The kids love doing this, by the way.)

    Q: How long does shipping take?

    A: We say that you should allow for one week within the U.S., but most orders are shipped the same day and arrive 1-3 days later. International orders usually take around two weeks to arrive.

    Q: Do I need to pay any performance royalties?

    A: As long as your admission price is less than $5 per ticket, you never need to pay performance royalties with a Bad Wolf show. If you decide to charge more than $5 a ticket, or if you are using one of our plays for a PAID workshop, camp, assembly, etc., pay only a low 1-2% royalty on gross revenues. See our royalty page to view the rates and pay.