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Friday, August 30, 2013

James K. Polk–by They Might Be Giants

As I have mentioned a couple times before, sometimes my fiancé's music choices actually have some relevance to my blogging – and those are the moments I want to share with you!  Songs from They Might Be Giants have been featured here before and this time we are looking at a song about President James K. Polk.

The only things that my fiancé knows about this president come from this song, and I can actually approve of the historical facts presented here.  The lyrics actually summarize Polk’s presidential experience quite well.  Have a listen and then we will commence discussion.

In 1844, the Democrats were split
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Louis Cass, a general and expansionist
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear
The factions soon agreed
He's just the man we need
To bring about victory
Fulfill our manifest destiny
And annex the land the Mexicans command
And when the votes were cast the winner was
Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

In four short years he met his every goal
He seized the whole southwest from Mexico
Made sure the tarriffs fell
And made the English sell the Oregon territory
He built an independent treasury
Having done all this he sought no second term
But precious few have mourned the passing of
Mister James K. Polk, our eleventh president
Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump

The only thing that is slightly off is the reference to Polk being a “dark horse”.  While he certainly wasn’t running for President at that time, he had Presidential aspirations and wasn’t a political unknown.  They successfully refer to: Polk’s 4 goals/successes, his nicknames, and the election of 1844. 

So what do you think?


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