Bye, Old Grover
DESCRIPTION: "William Jennings Bryan, Sitting on the fence, Trying to make a dollar Our of fifty cents, Bye, old Grover, bye, oh, Bye, old Grover, bye. I saw the train go 'round the curve, Goodbye, old Grover, goodbye, All loaded down with Harrison's men, Goodbye..."
EARLIEST DATE: 1949 (McIntosh)
KEYWORDS: political nonballad money
1884 - Grover Cleveland elected president the first time, beating James G. Blaine
1888 - Benjamin Harrison elected President by the Electoral College even though Grover Cleveland won the popular vote
1892 - Cleveland wins the rematch with Harrison
1896 - William McKinley defeats William Jennings Bryan (the first time)
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
McIntosh, p. 20, "Bye, Old Grover" (1 text)
cf. "Free Silver" (subject of William Jennings Bryan and the 1896 election) and references there
NOTES [197 words]: McIntosh's informant says that this song was from the election of 1888, when Benjamin Harrison defeated Grover Cleveland 233 to 168 in the electoral college although Cleveland won the popular vote 49% to 48%. The story is that it was sung in 1889, at the time of the actual transition. There are two problems with this. First, who would bother with an anti-Cleveland song AFTER the election? And second, why the mention of William Jennings Bryan, who in 1889 was not yet thirty and unknown?
This leaves two possibilities. First, the Bryan verse was not part of the proper song. This seems not unreasonable. Second, the song is from the election of 1896, when Grover Cleveland was on his way out of the White House, to be replaced by either Bryan or William McKinley. The latter explanation strikes me as more likely, although I'd hate to be dogmatic; Cleveland was very unpopular after the Panic of 1893 (even though economists generally believe that the Panic was caused by the sorts of policies espoused by Bryan and opposed by Cleveland), so Republicans would be happy to say, "Let's get rid of Cleveland, and not replace him by Bryan."
For more on this, see "Free SIlver." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.