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Song Of The Presidents

This song is by Oscar Brand and appears on the album Presidential Campaign Songs 1789-1996 (1999).

George Washington was first in war, and first among our presidents
Next, Adams, his vice-president, as leader took up residence.
The people turned to Jefferson because their 'cause he pleaded
James Madison and the British War of 1812 succeeded.

Next, James Monroe, who did bestow an era of good feelings,
And John Q. Adams followed him, for extra power appealing.
When Jackson won at New Orleans, the voters said, "We need him!"
Then he arranged for little Mat Van Buren to succeed him.

Tippecanoe stayed one short month, old William Henry Harrison.
John Tyler finished up his term, but there was no comparison.
Next, Mexico was challenged by James Polk, who took in Texas.
Then General Zachary Taylor won, but slavery did vex us.

When Taylor died, Mill Filmore tried, but never took his place, sir,
And Franklin Pierce met troubles that he really couldn't face, sir.
Bachelor Buchanan found he hadn't what was needed.
So they called on old Abe Lincoln, and the southern states seceded!

Lincoln won the Civil War but then a bullet reached him.
Andrew Johnson took his place, but Congress near impeached him.
We next elected U. S. Grant, whose friends got busy stealing.
Then Hayes, who wasn't bad, but won by wheeling and by dealing.

Brave Garfield then presided well till Guiteau got too nervous.
Then honest Chester Arthur came, with rules for civil service.
New Jersey's Grover Cleveland tried to help the Indian Nations,
Then Harrison brought six new states, but Indians got short rations!

Cleveland then was twenty-fourth as well as twenty-second
And though McKinley humbled Spain, assassination beckoned!
Teddy Roosevelt shook a stick at trusts who tried to bust us.
William Howard Taft came next and then became Chief Justice.

Though Woodrow Wilson fought a war, for peace he kept on tolling.
And Harding died of shame because his Teapot Dome kept boiling!
Coolidge, silent Cal, took charge, never changed expression.
Then Herbert Hoover came to town, and with him the Depression.

Roosevelt brought a brand New Deal, four terms in office winning,
But Truman finished World War II, the Atom Age beginning.
Ike Eisenhower took us from Korea without malice.
The Peace Corps came with Kennedy, but he was shot in Dallas.

The War in Viet Nam so troubled Johnson, he retired.
Then Nixon wooed the Chinese, but resigned lest he be fired.
Next Gerald Ford was sandwiched in, then Georgia's Jimmy Carter
But hostages and economics made his efforts harder.

Ronald Reagan led us well, but debt went through the ceiling
George Bush went to the White House, and the Soviets went reeling.
Bill Clinton won the office next-they called him a go-getter.
His second term was stormy, but it seemed that times were better.

Two hundred years and more have passed since Washington's election.
We haven't done too badly in the process of selection.
The people choose a leader and then tell him where to lead 'em.
And somehow we keep travelling on the road to Peace and Freedom!

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