The Party of Lincoln

Great Republican Harrison and Morton, campaign ball, 1888

Great Republican Harrison and Morton, campaign ball, 1888


NEW COMIC SONG.

Air — “Hey, Come Along, Josey.

Come listen to me, and I’ll sing you a song,
Which, I promise you, shall not be long;
And I know you’ll say it’s a first-rate thing,
And dis is de tune dat I will sing:
Hey, cum along, jim along, Josey.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Jo.

De Republicans, you know, next fall
Is goin’ ter stop de Bourbon ball;
Ginrawl Harrison is too strong for Grover,
And at the lexshun will turn him over.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Josey.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Jo.

De Demmies say dey will no hab him,
Kase how he born in a log cabin;
But de peeple say dey do not kere,
He shall hab de White House ‘fore a year.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Josey.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Jo.

Dey say his gran’pa drank hard cider,
But dey only spread his fame de wider,
And dey may ober dere shampane,
Make fun ob him, but it’s all in vain.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Josey.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Jo.

Yes, let um laf at his old granny,
But how he walloped little Vanny!
He put de Locos on de run,
And den he entered Washington.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Josey,
Hey, cum along, jim along, Jo.

And dat’s de way young Tippecanoe
Will with this Free Trade Grover do.
An’ Grove and all will make dere tracks
As if the debbil war at dere backs.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Josey.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Jo.

An’ now, gentle folks, I bid you good bye,
Don’t let de Demmies frow chalk in yer eye.
And when to de city de Ginrawl you bring,
Dis n[*****]’ll be dere all ready to sing.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Josey.
Hey, cum along, jim along, Jo.


Notes:

Dialect.  Oh, goodness.  Please spare me.  (Dialect was far more accepted in the 19th century than today.)  This is supposed to be Black dialect; a relic perhaps of the black-face minstrel shows.

The “Bourbon ball” would have been a campaign ball (as in “let’s get the ball rolling”) rolled from rally to rally to build up support.  The Bourbons were the conservative Democrats, with their power-base in the South, that had elected Grover Cleveland.

Benjamin Harrison was a Union general in the Civil War.    Grover was Grover Cleveland, the first Democratic president since the Civil War.

Neither Benjamin Harrison, nor his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, had been born in  a log cabin.  Neither was particularly fond of hard cider, either.

“Granny” here is grandfather, not grandmother.  “Little Vanny”was Martin Van Buren, the losing candidate in 1840.  “Little” because he was physically short.

The “Locos” were the Locofocos, the radical Democrats.

William Henry Harrison was Old Tippecanoe (from the name of a skirmish against the Native Americans that he won back before the War of 1812).  Thus, Benjamin was “young Tippecanoe.”

The crux of the matter at last!  “Free Trade Grover.”  The Democrats favored Free Trade while the Republicans favored Protectionism.

As to the racial slur:  Harrison had fought on the Union side, and as president he used Federal money to educate the children of the Freedmen, and federal troops to enforce voting rights.  Nothing’s simple.


Tomorrow:  Should Brave Soldiers Be Forgot?

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One Response to The Party of Lincoln

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

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