Campaign Songs

Grant, Grant, Grant

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Something for the weekend.  Grant, Grant, Grant the campaign song for Ulysses S. Grant when he ran for President in 1868.  Unsurprisingly Civil War themes were hit hard, along with Republican rage against what they perceived as the soft Reconstruction that Andrew Johnson attempted to give to the South.  The song is sung to the tune of Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching!, (Originially entitled Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (The Prisoner’s Hope) which would have had huge emotional connotations in the North as that song was written in 1864 to give hope in ultimate liberation to Union POWs. Continue reading

James Garfield Songs

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Something for the weekend.  It is a political season and so we take a look at If The Johnnies Get Into Power, a campaign song of the James Garfield campaign in the election of 1880.  For a generation Republicans would “wave the bloody shirt” against Democrats, conjuring up the bogeyman of the terrible things that would happen if the Democrats, Confederate loving traitors!, elected a President.  In the South Democrats would return the favor, using hatreds born of the Civil War and Reconstruction to keep the South a one party section of the nation.  Not the most edifying period in the political history of our nation.

Here is a video of the great Johnny Cash singing a song about the assassination of James Garfield: Continue reading

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!

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Something for the weekend.  After a fortnight of political conventions I thought it was appropriate to have one of the more popular campaign songs in American political history featured for our weekend song, Tippecanoe and Tyler Too, written by Alexander Coffman Ross, and sung endlessly by the Whigs during the 140 presidential campaign.  Perhaps one of the more vacuous campaigns in our nation’s history, the Whig’s rode to victory on William Henry Harrison’s status as a war hero at the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811 and during the War of 1812, and the poor economy presided over by Democrat Martin Van Buren.  Ironically John Tyler, who was as much an afterthought on the ticket as he is in the song, would serve out the term of Harrison after Harrison died after only 32 days in office.  John Tyler was a Democrat who had only recently converted to the Whig party.  As president he returned to his Democrat roots and had dreadful relations with the Whigs, who would certainly have impeached him but for their losing control of the House in the 1842 elections.  Astoundingly Tyler still has two living grandchildren.

Here is a rock version of the song: Continue reading

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