Clear the Kitchen

Clar de Kitchen


A SETTIN’ IN THE CHAIR.

Tune — Sittin’ on a Rail.

When sly Van left the chair of state,
And Tyler he slipped in by fate,
He swore he’d make us rich and great,
By settin’ in the chair,
By settin’ in the chair,
By settin’ in the chair,
And presiding o’er the land.

But soon as he the great seat took,
To the state kitchen he sent a book.
And told what meals he’d have them cook,
While settin’ in the chair.
While settin’ in the chair.
While settin’ in the chair,
And presiding o’er the land.

Our state cooks moved about quite pat,
And sent long Ti this dish and that,
He crossed his legs and “cut it fat,”
While settin’ in the chair,
While settin’ in the chair,
While settin’ in the chair,
And ruling o’er the roast.

But our state cooks began to see.
That the people through this vast country,
All wanted food as well as he,
That loafed within the chair,
That loafed within the chair,
That loafed within the chair,
That loafed within the chair,
And ruled the nation’s roast.

So finding people growing lank,
They cooked a dish called the State Bank,
And sent John Ti a slice, quite frank,
To taste within the chair,
To taste within the chair,
To taste within the chair,
And approve the people’s dish.

It made Ti’s gouty stomach sick,
He “threw it up,” and sent it back,
Saying, “the folks shan’t have a dish so crack,”
While I sit in the chair,
While I sit in the chair,
While I sit in the chair
I’ll say what they shall eat.

A chief cook raised an earthen tray,
Made of the best Kentucky Clay,
Crying, “in this kitchen I won’t stay,
While he sits in the chair,
While he sits in the chair,
While he sits in the chair,
To say what folks shall eat.”

“Ere I yield to his stomach’s whim
To cook the people’s rights for him,
I’ll leave the kitchen, sink or swim,
While he sits in the chair, &c.
To spoil the people’s fare.

Now, this bold patriotic cook,
Knows all our nation’s cooking book,
And up to him the people look,
To gain their long lost fare,
To gain their long lost fare, &c.
They’ll place him in the chair.


NOTES:

“Sly Van” is Martin Van Buren, often portrayed as the Sly Fox of Kinderhook.  Tyler “slipped in by fate” when President Harrison died after a month in office, leading to his Vice President, Tyler, becoming president.

Tyler, rather than allowing either the Congress or the cabinet set policy, had his own policy he wished to pursue, and told both the Congress and the cabinet what his goals were, then set about trying to achieve them.  The kitchen here likely refers to the Cabinet, recalling Jackson’s “Kitchen Cabinet.”

“Long Ti” is John Tyler.

“Cutting it fat” is an Americanism meaning “senseless flattery.”

The State Bank was a favorite part of the Whig platform.  Tyler, however, thought that forming a state bank was unconstitutional, and so vetoed the Bank Bill  — twice.

“Crack,” another Americanism, means “to utter worthless paper money,” or forge banknotes.  Paper money was another favorite Whig goal.

“Kentucky Clay” is Henry Clay.  While Clay had been a member of Tyler’s cabinet, he resigned rather than support the president’s intentions.

Clay is the “patriotic cook,” who will return the people’s rights, &c.


Tomorrow: the Saint Louis Clay Club Song.

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One Response to Clear the Kitchen

  1. Pingback: 1844 Whig Songbook Index | Madhouse Manor

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