Harrison Campaign Song
DESCRIPTION: "A farmer there was, who lived at North Bend"; he regretfully leaves his log cabin to go to Washington. Coming to the White House, he sets everyone astir. When they prove unable to dislodge them, he warns them to get hard cider by March fourth
EARLIEST DATE: 1912 (Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety)
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(So)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, p. 335, "Harrison Campaign Song" (1 text)
cf. "Old Tippecanoe (I)" (subject of the Harrison/van Buren election) and references there
NOTES [156 words]: For details on the (thoroughly dirty) 1840 Presidential campaign, and the purely false picture it drew of William Henry Harrison, see the notes to "Old Tippecanoe."
It should perhaps be pointed out that, at the time this song was sung, new Presidents were still inaugurated on March 4.
The way this song is written might make it appear that Van Buren undertook some sort of cabinet shake-up during the 1840 campaign. He didn't; three of his six cabinet secretaries stayed the whole administration, and while two offices turned over in 1840, one of those was Postmaster, held by Amos F. Kendall, the advisor Van Buren "could not spare;" he assuredly was not driven out.
Interestingly, this song does not seem to be included 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). - RBW
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