Draft Dodger Blues

The Political excitement in New York City - A Rush during the passage of a procession on Broadway

Harrison and Cleveland supporters in confrontation with raised canes over the issues of “Free Trade” and “Tariff”


THE FLAG WILL LEAD.

The spoilsmen are fretful and gloomy as night,
Their “Denmark is rotten” about;
The party’s perplexed and in horrible plight,
For Grover, they know, must go out.
Our flag, like the sign to the Roman, I ween,
Will lead us to glory — and who
Wouldn’t stick to that flag while a star’s to be seen,
The flag of old Tippecanoe?

The sceptre of power from Judah must go;
The game of Sir Grover is played ;
The people insist on Protection, you know,
Denouncing his scheme of Free Trade.
Then on to the rescue, my hearties, we move,
Protection will stand, if we do;
Let’s follow our leader, and royally prove
Our love for young Tippecanoe!

Our ship Constitution, though staunch in her hull,
Has been pitching hard in the storm,
But safely we’ll moor her, so on the ropes pull;
Steer straight for the haven Reform!
But the ship, to be saved, a new master must have,
With a new set of tars for her crew;
From the State of New York her lieutenant must come,
Her captain from Tippecanoe!

When war’s deadly summons had led us to blows,
Where was tenderfoot Grover then found?
In the rear of all dangers, lamenting his woes;
He hated the battle’s dread sound.
Where was Harrison then? On the field of his fame!
There proved himself gallant and true;
The roar of the cannon was music to him —
The grandson of Tippecanoe!

When peace, after victories, came to the land,
Back home, with proud laurels, he came,
And now, at a patriot people’s demand,
He’ll march to the apex of fame.
Our flag, like the sign to the Roman, I ween,
Will lead us to victory — for who
Wouldn’t follow the flag while a star’s to be seen,
Or a rag of the red, white and blue?


Notes:

No tune is given.

The “spoilsmen” are people who have benefited from the “spoils system”; political patronage.

Grover is Grover Cleveland, the first Democratic president since James Buchanan before the Civil War.

Old Tippecanoe was William Henry Harrison, the winner of the presidential election in 1840.

Judah — refers to the southern of the two kingdoms of the Hebrews in the Bible.  The Democrats had their power base in the South.  The Republicans insisted on high protective tariffs, while the Democrats favored Free Trade.

Levi Morton, of New York, was Harrison’s vice presidential candidate.

Tenderfoot Grover … rather than going into the army during the Civil War, Grover Cleveland had paid a substitute to take his place (perfectly legal at the time).  Harrison, however, had raised an Indiana regiment and fought in several battles.


Tomorrow:  Ye Jolly Young Lads

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One Response to Draft Dodger Blues

  1. Pingback: Index of Titles and First Lines: 1888 Harrison Song Book | Madhouse Manor

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