Grant, Grant, Grant

Saturday, October 27, AD 2012

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.

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James Garfield Songs

Saturday, October 6, AD 2012

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:

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One Response to James Garfield Songs

  • Garfield was maybe the only President to go from the House to the Presidency although he had been made Senator elect by the Ohio legislature. He had a strong civil rights position and also was a mover for Civil Service reform. Ironically he was assassinated by a psychotic office seeker. Something to ponder given that Jimmy Carter abolished the Civil Service Commission and replaced it with the toothless Office of Personnel Management. Now we have an increasingly partisan (and unionized) bureaucracy (including the States) which are the biggest contributors to the Dems.

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!

Saturday, September 8, AD 2012

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:

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2 Responses to Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!

  • Gee, they had attack ads way back then? I thought “incivility” was invented by Dick Cheney.

    Btw, the Little Magician gave as good as he got. I can’t find a video but here’s his song:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1840#Van_Buren

    Rockabye, baby, Daddy’s a Whig
    When he comes home, hard cider he’ll swig
    When he has swug
    He’ll fall in a stu
    And down will come Tyler and Tippecanoe.

    Rockabye, baby, when you awake
    You will discover Tip is a fake.
    Far from the battle, war cry and drum
    He sits in his cabin a’drinking bad rum.

    Rockabye, baby, never you cry
    You need not fear OF Tip and his Ty.
    What they would ruin, Van Buren will fix.
    Van’s a magician, they are but tricks.

  • A tragedy Thomas that there appears to be no video of that song! We will have to soldier on with this song about Van Buren: