Election Campaign Song
DESCRIPTION: "The people are coming, Van Buren is down, Let a loud shout of triumph be heard in our town.... Let's resolve to be ruled by Van Buren no more." "The people are coming, Oh, Matty, beware." Other Van Buren allies are warned; "Old Honesty" is coming
EARLIEST DATE: 1840 (Poughkeepsie Journal, according to Nestler)
KEYWORDS: political nonballad warning
Dec 2, 1840 - William Henry Harrison defeats Martin Van Buren
Mar 4, 1841 - Harrison (the first Whig to be elected President) is inaugurated. He gives a rambling inaugural address in a rainstorm and catches cold
April 4, 1841 - Harrison dies of pneumonia, making him the first president to fail to complete his term. After some hesitation, Vice President John Tyler is allowed to succeed as President
FOUND IN: US(MA)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Harold Nestler, "Songs from the Hudson Valley" (article in _New York Folklore Quarterly_, Volume V, #2, Summer 1949), pp. 107-108, "Election Campaign Song" (1 text)
cf. "Old Tippecanoe" (subject of the Harrison/van Buren election) and references there
NOTES [105 words]: It is ironic that the William Henry Harrison campaign, surely the least honest in history (at least prior to Donald Trump) proclaims the coming of "Old Honesty."
Interestingly, this does not seem to appear in the most comprehensive collection of Harrison campaign songs known to me, A. B. Norton, Songs of the People in the Log Cabin Days of Old Tippecanoe, A. B. Norton & Co., 1888 (available on Google Books). Indeed, I don't even find the words "Old Honesty" in the book.
I have seen an internet reference claiming this was sung to "The Star-Spangled Banner." The fit appears so bad that I have not cross-referenced the two. - RBW
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