One Reason I’m Glad I Don’t Write Children’s Books

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Republicans Loathe Free Trade

Gen. Benjamin Harrison, of Indiana

Gen. Benjamin Harrison, of Indiana

 


O, GLORIOUS STANDARD!

Air — “Hail Columbia.”

O, glorious standard of the free,
Thou flag of loyal colors three,
Float ever o’er our hearths and homes,
Float ever o’er our hearths and homes,
A sign that we our country love,
All foreign lands and suns above,
Float there and, in the breezes swayed,
Proclaim to all who love Free Trade,
At home, abroad, live where they will,
We cling to Trade Protection still!
Millions to our standard flock,
Workmen stand like solid rock;
Free Trade England cannot shake
Lines that this old flag can make!

Then vote Protection to our mills
And to the land the farmer tills
For foes are threatening to destroy,
For foes are threatening to destroy;
Let Free Trade hide her dastard head
The land is ours on which we tread;
So rally to the standard on,
For he who leads is Harrison;
Let the battle well be fought,
Glory’s best when dearest bought.
Millions to our standard flock,
Workmen stand like solid rock;
Free Trade England cannot shake
Lines that this old flag can make!

Lo, now a mighty people rise
With cheers exulting rend the skies,
Brave Harrison in loud huzzas,
Brave Harrison in loud huzzas,
From east to west the echo rings
And freedom flaps her airy wings,
Rejoiced to see her reign prolonged,
By millions round the hero thronged.
Hoist the banner high in air,
Loyal hearts are everywhere!
Millions to our standard flock,
Workmen stand like solid rock;
Free Trade England cannot shake
Lines that this old flag can make!


Notes:

“Hail Columbia” was the (unofficial) US national anthem until 1931.

“Free Trade” was one of the Democratic positions.  The Republicans didn’t like it.  The Republicans wanted protective tariffs.    Since this is a Republican song….

England was seen as favoring Free Trade, so those who favored free trade themselves would have been considered (at least by the Republicans with their candidate Benjamin Harrison) to be English dupes.


Tomorrow: Gwine To Git Dar.

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Shots

I got my flu shot, how ’bout you?
I got my flu shot, how ’bout you?
I got my flu shot, how ’bout you?
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

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Free Trade Wool

Free Trade

American Workman (to John Bull)– Mr Bull, if Free Trade is such a blessing, why are your agricultural interests in such a wretched condition? Why do your manufacturers cry out for “Fair Trade,” and why does your skilled English workman come to this country instead of the American worker going to England? [The flag reads “English steamer every day.” The men carry bags labeled “English workman” and “English skilled workman,” and the building is labeled “Castle Gardens” (the precursor to Ellis Island).]


THE FREE-TRADE PINAFORE.

[In Which Captain Cleveland Appears at the Head of the Democratic Crew.]

Capt. Cleveland — I am the captain of the Free Trade crew.

Chorus of Democratic Tars — And a right good captain, too.

Capt. C. — You are very, very good, and be it understood,
I’m in for reform right through.

Chorus — We are very, very good, and be it understood
He’s in for reform right through.

Capt. C. — I can trim back and steer with any boss here,
And I know how to twist and squirm.
I was never known to scorn civil service to reform,
And I’ll never take a second term.

Chorus — What! never!
Capt. C. — No, never!
Chorus — What! never!
Capt. C. — Hardly ever!

Chorus — Hardly ever take a second term?
Then here’s one yell and a snicker, too,
For the one-term captain of the Free Trade crew.
Then here’s one yell and a snicker, too,
For the captain of the Free Trade crew.

Capt. C. — I’ve done my best to satisfy you all.

Chorus — And with you we are all content.

Capt. C. — That’s an everlasting whopper, but I think it only proper
To return the compliment.

Chorus — That’s an everlasting whopper, but he thinks it only proper
To return the compliment.

Capt. C. — I have made a heap of noise, and I’ve called in the boys
To warm their frozen toes;
I’ve discouraged all proclivity to partisan activity,
And I’ve always worn Free Trade clothes.

Chorus — What! always?
Capt. C. — Yes, always!
Chorus — What! always?
Capt. C-— Well, recently!

Chorus — He’s recently donned Free Trade clothes?
Then here’s a yell and a snicker, too,
For the free wool captain of the Free Trade crew.
Then here’s a yell and a snicker, too,
For the captain of the Free Trade crew.

Springfield Union.


Notes:

Although not listed, the tune is obviously “I Am the Captain of the Pinafore” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore.  That the free traders should be presented as English is no surprise:  English business interests were seen as being behind the Free Trade movement, as a way to allow English manufacturers to dump cheap goods into America, while taking American raw materials at bargain prices.

Grover Cleveland did indeed support Free Trade to an extent: Tariffs were the source of the Federal government’s revenue in those days before income tax and, since the Federal government was running a surplus it seemed to him that tariffs must therefore be too high. When we’re told that he “recently donned Free Trade clothes” it is because he only moved toward free trade in 1887, three years into his presidency.

Cleveland tried to reform Civil Service to create a cadre of government workers appointed and advanced due to merit rather than political connections.

Cleveland had been elected as a reformer (despite being denounced as the candidate of “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion”).  While Cleveland’s personal life was disordered (Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?), he was scrupulously honest in his public dealings.  His opponent in 1884, James G. Blaine (the Continental Liar from the state of Maine), had a blameless personal life, while his public service was a morass of corruption.

Cleveland lost the election of 1888 in a storm of outright vote-buying engineered by Matthew Quay and other Republican bosses.  If Mr. Cleveland lost the election of 1888 on Free Trade, he won the election of 1892 on the same policy.

What is meant by calling in the boys to warm their frozen toes I don’t know.

A boss is a political boss.  A whopper is a very large lie.


Tomorrow: O, Glorious Standard!

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The Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver

A Demoralized Drum

A Demoralized Drum

 

HARRISON’S THE DANDY.

Air — “Yankee Doodle.

Cleveland took his hook and line and started off a-fishing.
He fished for suckers all the day, but took it out in wishing.
It seems the suckers all were off attending decoration,
And this, and other things as bad, raised Grover’s indignation.

Chorus .

Yankee Doodle, mind the steps, Ben. Harrison’s the dandy,
We’re sure that in November next we’ll vote him in so handy.

Says he to Dan, a I’ll show ’em how I like this sort of fashion.
This waving of the bloody shirt has raised my deepest passion.
I’ll send for Drum and have them call the Brigadiers together;
I’ll have them come (I will by gum)! arrayed in hat and feather.

“The war is over now, and we should march in one procession,
The Southern Democrats in front, the Northern in succession.
To prove I mean to treat them white, I’ll give them back their banners —
The time has come to muster out the pauper Union grannies.”

“But, noble sire,” Dan made reply, “think well before you venture.
The times are perilous, and you may meet with public censure.”
“Well, well, replied the President, “for trouble I’m not wishing,
But if the worst comes to the worst, why then I’ll go a-fishing.”

— Athens Messenger.



Notes:

Grover Cleveland, incumbent Democratic president and candidate for re-election in 1888, was fishing for voters (a common cartoon trope of the time was a politician with a rod and reel).   The suckers could be the citizens of Illinois, “The Sucker State.”  Or…

“These poor emigrants from the slave States were jeeringly and derisively called ‘suckers,’ because there were asserted to be a burthen upon the people of wealth…” — Governor Thomas Ford.

Suckers are also a kind of fish that migrate seasonally up and down the Mississippi.

“Attending decoration” likely refers to observing Decoration Day, the last Monday of May, when the graves of the Civil War dead would be decorated with flags.  This practice started in Illinois in 1868.

Ben Harrison, the Republican candidate for president, had himself been a general in the Civil War, fighting for the Union.

Dan is likely Daniel Manning, who as head of the New York Democratic Committee oversaw Cleveland’s nomination in 1884, and was rewarded by being named Secretary of the Treasury.   Cleveland and Manning were in favor of the Gold Standard, and opposed to Free Silver.  (Free Silver had been a Republican platform plank since the very first Republican presidential candidate, John C. Frémont:  “Free Men, Free Silver, and Frémont!”)  Alas, today, all that remains of this once-burning question is a magic trick in J. B. Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic: “The Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver.”  I recommend Bobo (and a four-disk DVD by Ben Salinas demonstrating many of the tricks and routines) to anyone interested in magic in general, and coin magic in particular.

The return of Confederate battle flags captured by Union forces was a contentious issue at the time, and continues so: they still haven’t been returned.  “Waving the bloody shirt” referred to a practice of the Radical Republicans, mostly focused on Reconstruction issues, raising images of  the Union wounded and dead.  “Drum” is likely Adjutant General Richard C. Drum, who, together with Secretary of War  Endicott, was involved in the battle flag controversy.

On April 30, 1887, Adjutant General Richard Drum sent a letter to Secretary of War William Endicott informing him that several captured Confederate flags were being stored in the basement of the War Department.  The adjutant general broached the possibility of returning the battle standards to their home states in the South.  On June 7, the secretary informed Drum that the president had agreed and issued an executive order to that effect.  

“Northern in succession….”  I’m certain that the word “succession” was chosen as a pun on “secession.”  (The split between the Northern and Southern democrats was that got Lincoln elected in 1860.)

“To prove I mean to treat them white” is exactly as racist as you’d think it is.  (The phrase “that’s mighty white of you,” to mean “you have acted nobly” is still heard today, but more rarely than in former times….)

“The pauper Union grannies”:  At the time, “granny” could mean “grandfather” as well as ‘grandmother.”  Soldier’s pensions (and pensions for soldiers’ widows) were a big part of Harrison’s campaign.  (He would later be accused of emptying the Treasury to pay them.)

Whatever accent the songwriter had, I find it amusing that they rhymed “banners” with “grannies.”

My father, a WWII veteran, told me that, as a boy, he had met and shook the hand of a Grand Army of the Republic veteran who, as a boy, had met and shook the hand of a  veteran of the American Revolution.   Which, if I’m counting it right, puts me personally at three degrees of separation from the Revolution and y’all, who know me, at four.


Tomorrow: The Free-Trade Pinafore.

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So Fleeting is Fame

Allen G. Thurman

Allen G. Thurman … in stereo!


THE FREE TRADE BANNER.

Air—”When Freedom from Her Mountain Height

When Free Trade, from her topmost crag,
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She thrust aside the old time flag,
And set a big bandanna there.
She sprinkled o’er its crimson dyes
The dust that in a snuff-box lies;
She striped its folds, red as a rose,
With snuff that tickles Thurman’s nose.

When Thurman shall have snuffed and sneezed,
In “noblest Roman,” Ha-kitch-oo,
The Demmies all, with noses greased,
Will join the sneezing chorus too.
However loud they sneeze and blow,
‘Twill be a sound of dismal woe
Compared to that deep-throated cheer
We’ll raise for Harrison, this year.

The sound of Allen Thurman’s sneeze
Will pierce the Solid South’s ears through.
‘Twill go to Britons o’er the seas,
And they will sneeze by cable, too.
But when the North shall raise her shout,
‘Twill drown these foreign sneezers out,
And all the snoozers here at home
Who love this gentleman from Rome!

We love the old Red, White and Blue,
That Freedom long ago unfurled;
We love our glorious country, too,
The fairest one in all the world!
We love our mines, we love our mills,
With fervor that our heart-strings thrills.
And we’ll prosperity protect,
And see our Harrison elect!


Notes:

“When Freedom From Her Mountain Height” was a poem by  Joseph Rodman Drake (1795–1820) titled “The American Flag.”  It was set to music  by Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835).   For a while “The American Flag” was a competitor with Francis Key’s “The Star Spangled Banner,” which many felt was too warlike.

Such is fame!  Today I find no recording on the Google-indexed web of anyone singing the song.

Dvořák used the same poem in his “American Flag” cantata four years after the date of this songbook.

The present song derides Democrat Allen Thurman (the vice-presidential candidate) the red bandanna he habitually carried, and his frequent nose-blowing.  Free Trade was a Democratic position.   Thurman’s nickname was “The Old Roman.”

Democrats were seen as the party of the South, and Free Trade was seen as an English plot.

Harrison, the Republican presidential candidate, favored protectionism,  which in theory would guard America’s mines and mills.


Tomorrow: Harrison’s the Dandy

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All Wet

Free Trade vs. the Golden Goose

The Goose [Protection] that lays the golden eggs] good standard of living, prosperity, etc.] Democratic politican hands knife (“free trade, English make”) to working man, saying “kill the goose and get all your eggs at once”


THE CATASTROPHE.

Air.—”The Bull Dog.”

Allen Thurman on the bank, Grover Cleveland in the pool,
Allen Thurman on the bank, Grover Cleveland in the pool,
Allen Thurman on the bank, Grover Cleveland in the pool,
“O, help me out and put me on the Presidential stool! ”

Chorus.
Singing tra, la, la, la, la, la, la, singing tra, la, la, la, la, la, la,
Singing tra, la, la, la, la, la, singing tra, la, la, la, la, la,
Tra, la, la, tra, la, la, tra, la, la, tra, la, la.

Then old Allen stooped to catch him and asked, “What do I get?”
“O, Allen,” answered Grover, “you’ll probably get wet!”

Singing tra, la, la, etc.

“O, Allen, don’t forsake him! ” the office-holders said;
“Pray what’s your fatal soaking to our own loss of bread?”

Singing tra, la, la, etc.

Then Allen unto Grover threw out a red bandanna,
Which was whirled away to Nowhere on a breeze from Indiana.

Singing tra, la, la, etc.

Allen Thurman on the bank, Grover Cleveland in the pool;
While Harrison is sitting on the Presidential stool.

Singing tra, la, la, etc.

One stuck in Free Trade quicksand and t’other in surprise
Amused the fickle Goddess who has two stars for eyes.

Singing tra, la, la, etc.

Said the Goddess, loudly laughing, in manner somewhat rude,
“You’ve carried one State, Grover, — Innocuous Desuetude!”

Singing tra, la, la, etc.

— O. C. Hooper.


Notes:

Grover Cleveland was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1888.  Allen Thurman was his vice-presidential running mate.

The office holders here were people who relied on political patronage for their jobs.

Thurman’s trademark symbol was a red bandanna.

Benjamin Harrison of Indiana was the Republican candidate for president.

Free Trade was the Democrats’ major position.  The Star-eyed Goddess is the personification of Free Trade.


Tomorrow: The Free Trade Banner

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Seeking a Second Term

 The two old parties have no use for her

The two old parties have no use for her

 


OH, GROVER C, MY JO GROVE.

Air — “John Anderson, My Jo.”

Oh, Grover C, my Jo Grove! I wonder what you mean
By such an inconsistent act as that we’ve lately seen;
You thought a second term, Grove, about four years ago,
A danger to the nation, Oh, Grover C., my Jo.

Oh, Grover C., my Jo Grove, you’ve climbed the hill of state,
And many a cunning trick, man, was fathered in your pate;
But now you’re tottering down, Grove; how rapidly you go!
You’ll soon be sprawling at the foot, Oh, Grover C, my Jo!

Oh, Grover C., my Jo Grove, when first we were acquaint
Tis true you was not slow, Grove, with sinner or with saint ;
But now you have grown fat, Grove, you never seem to know
How fast you’re going back again, Oh, Grover C, my Jo.

Oh, Grover C, my Jo Grove, now Thurman is your bower,
You’ve set him up behind you, Grove, to help you ride to power,
But he has grown too old, Grove, we all of us well know,
To help you much in such a race, Oh, Grover C., my Jo.

Oh, Grover C, my Jo Grove, our faith you did abuse,
And you can’t wear again, Grove, the Presidential shoes;
So take yourself away, Grove; clear back to Buffalo,
For Harrison will take your place, Oh, Grover C., my Jo.


Notes:

“John Anderson, My Jo” is a Robert Burns song.  “Jo” means “love” or “lover.”

“Grove” was Grover Cleveland, the incumbent president.

“But now you have grown fat…” Grover was renowned for his girth.

Senator Allen G. Thurman was Grover’s vice-presidential candidate.  He was both elderly and sickly.

Buffalo:  Before Cleveland was Governor of New York, he was Mayor of Buffalo.

Harrison was the Republican presidential candidate.

Cleveland was much hindered in this race by his opinion that campaigning was beneath the dignity of a president of the United States, so he let Thurman do the work.


Tomorrow:  The Catastrophe

 

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The Single-Issue Party

The custom-house code of morals under our beautiful tariff system

The custom-house code of morals under our beautiful tariff system


THE BATTLE CRY, PROTECTION.

Air — “Battle Cry of Freedom.”

For America and freedom we take the field again
Shouting the battle cry, Protection!
And rally round our banner, a host of busy men
Shouting the battle cry, Protection!

Chorus.

America forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the bandanna and up with the stars,
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again
Shouting the battle cry, Protection!

Free trade and English wages we never can endure,
Shouting the battle cry, Protection!
Our land is for Americans, alike for rich and poor,
Shouting the battle cry, Protection!

Chorus — America forever! etc.

For Harrison and Morton we’ll rally round the flag,
Shouting the battle cry, Protection!
And drive the foe before us with their red bandanna rag,
Shouting the battle cry, Protection!

Chorus — America, forever! etc.


Notes:

Benjamin Harrison and Levi Morton were the Republican candidates for president and vice-president in 1888.  “Protection” was the protective tariff, which was the Republicans’ grand panacea.  Times are good?  Raise the tariff!  Times are bad?  Raise the tariff!

The bandanna was the red bandanna of Allen G. Thurman, Democratic vice-presidential candidate, on which he frequently blew his nose.

The Democrats favored lowering the tariff, if not actual Free Trade (which was seen as an English plan to dump cheap goods in America and so destroy American workers).


Tomorrow: Oh, Grover C, My Jo Grove.

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The Truly Spectacular Schnurrbart of John A. Logan

 For president James G. Blaine, of Maine - for vice president John A. Logan, of Illinois

For president James G. Blaine, of Maine – for vice president John A. Logan, of Illinois (1884)


THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE.

Tune — “Red, White and Blue.

Democrats may flourish their bandannas —
The flag of our country we’ll wave.
The “boys” from the lakes to savannas
Once more this grand Union will save.
With Harrison and Morton for leaders,
We’ll sweep victoriously through;
From Maine to shores the of Pacific,
And carry the red, white and blue.

Chorus.
And carry the red, white and blue.
And carry the red, white and blue.
From Maine to the shores of Pacific
We’ll carry the red, white and blue.

‘Mid the shrieks of the shells and the bullets,
Where carnage and death held high glee,
And patriots were falling the thickest,
Where agony only you’d see,
There thousands and thousands perished,
To their country and Union true,
For love of the flag that they cherished,
For love of the red, white and blue!

Chorus.

O, prate not of Cleveland’s reforming,
Or Thurman’s great love for the “boys;”
When Democrats the North were a storming,
It made the “Old Roman” rejoice.
Let Democrats carry bandannas,
To the flag of the Union we’re true,
From the lakes across the savannas
We’ll carry the red, white and blue.

Chorus.

“Protection to all!” is our slogan,
No Tories our land shall control,
Led on by the spirit of Logan,
Protection we’ll sound to each Pole!
Let party slaves flourish bandannas,
To the flag of our Union we’re true,
From the lakes across the savannas
We’ll carry the red, white and blue.

Chorus.


Notes:

The red bandannas that Democrats waved, tied to their canes, or wore on their hats, in 1888 were the symbol of Allen G. Thurman, Democratic vice-presidential candidate, who used a red bandanna to punctuate his rhetorical flourishes in his oratory — when not blowing his nose on it.

The “boys” are members of the US military.

Harrison is Benjamin Harrison, Republican candidate for president.  Morton is Levi Morton, his vice-presidential running mate.

The shrieks of shells and bullets happened during the Civil War, when Harrison was a Union general.

Cleveland was indeed a reform candidate.   The “democrats” who were storming the north were Confederate soldiers.  “The Old Roman” was Thurman’s nickname in the Senate.

The Republicans favored protectionism  — tariffs on foreign goods.   The “Tories” were British sympathizers during the American Revolution.  Here they are folks who want the tariffs lowered (which would make British goods cheaper inside the US).  “Logan” would be Senator John A. Logan of Illinois. (The “spirit of Logan” rather than Logan himself, since he’d died in 1886.)  See also “Democratic Rascality and Republican Honesty,”  from The Republican Campaign Text-book for 1888.


Tomorrow:  As Harrison Marches On

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