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Lost Radio Rounders | Politics & Patriots

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Mood: Patriotic
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Politics & Patriots

by Lost Radio Rounders

Entertaining, funny and historic presidential campaign songs sung by the premier Acoustic American Roots duo, accompanied by a variety of instruments.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. God Save George Washington
1:44 $0.99
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2. Adams and Liberty
1:27 $0.99
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3. Rockabye, Baby
1:50 $0.99
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4. Jimmy Polk of Tennessee
2:04 $0.99
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5. Clear the Track, Emancipation
1:57 $0.99
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6. Hurrah for Grant
1:36 $0.99
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7. Democrats, Good Democrats
2:02 $0.99
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8. Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?
2:56 $0.99
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9. His Grandfather's Hat
1:41 $0.99
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10. When Grover's Term Comes to an End
0:59 $0.99
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11. What a Weapon Is the Ballot
2:41 $0.99
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12. Then and Now
3:15 $0.99
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13. Cactus Jack and Franklin D.
1:26 $0.99
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14. The Republican Battle Hymn
2:09 $0.99
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15. The Independent Man
1:39 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
From the start, American elections have been engaging and enraging in equal measure. Attack ads are nothing new, as you’ll discover in this entertaining, often funny survey of historic campaign shouts, presidential tributes and issue songs from George Washington to FDR—all set to familiar melodies like “Rockabye, Baby,” “Little Brown Jug,” “Old Joe Clark” and “My Old Kentucky Home.”

1. God Save George Washington

Fitting that the tune of both “God Save The King” and “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” was used to fete the founding father—a tribute, rather than an election song, for obvious reasons, but still the best first step on the campaign trail.

2. Adams and Liberty

Robert Treat Paine, Jr. was paid $750 to write lyrics for this tribute, set to the instantly recognizable melody of an old British drinking song, after John Adams’ 1796 election. Four years later, Paine wrote “Jefferson and Liberty,” describing Adams’ term as a “reign of terror.”

3. Rockabye, Baby

In the jolly and idiotic 1840 election, Whig William Henry Harrison’s ‘log cabin and hard cider’ campaign would defeat the incumbent, Democrat Martin Van Buren. It was the first truly musical contest on both sides, due, at least in part, to the rhyming possibilities of Harrison’s Tippecanoe nickname.

4. Jimmy Polk of Tennessee

Locofocos were Radical Democrats whose name came from the need to light friction matches at a New York meeting when Tammany men doused the lights. They are, like one-termer James K. Polk, little remembered. Mercurial, but effective, Polk, the first dark horse candidate, is considered the least-known consequential president.

5. Clear the Track, Emancipation

Jesse Hutchinson, of the singing New Hampshire family, was an important early American songwriter. This issue song from 1844, set to the fiddle tune “Old Dan Tucker,” mentions Polk and party-hopping three-time loser Henry Clay.

6. Hurrah for Grant

The stirring melody of “Kingdom Coming,” the basis for this 1868 Republican anthem, was composed by abolitionist Henry Clay Work. Grant’s given name, curiously, was Hiram Ulysses; it was changed at West Point, accidentally, to the more patriotic U.S. Grant.

7. Democrats, Good Democrats

Borrowing the melody of the Civil War song “Maryland, My Maryland” (featured on Lost Radio Rounders’ Lincoln and Liberty CD), 1884’s “Democrats” praises Grover Cleveland’s honesty, which would soon make him unpopular with both parties.

8. Oh, Dear, What Can The Matter Be?

Also from 1884, a suffrage parody listing various reasons why women didn’t need to vote—revenge is had, and the last verse of this familiar nursery rhyme makes it clear why they did.

9. His Grandfather’s Hat

This comically derisive number from the 1888 election mocks ninth president William Henry Harrison’s grandson, Republican Benjamin Harrison, in his run against the incumbent Democrat, Cleveland, who lost, only to return after Harrison’s term as 23rd president.

10. When Grover’s Term Comes To An End

Is there a melody more rousing than “When Johnny Comes Marching Home?” The Republicans used it to vote Cleveland out of his first term, rather than to vote Harrison in.

11. What a Weapon is the Ballot

This 1916 Socialist Party song makes two keys points—it’s important to vote and elected officials can solve all your problems. Only one of them is true.

12. Then and Now

Stephen Foster’s eternal melody to “My Old Kentucky Home” becomes a backdrop for a bittersweet turn-of-the-century Prohibition Party campaign song, with words by itinerant Baptist minister Palmer Hartsough. Both sides of the temperance debate faced off on issues of economics and morality, but drunk or sober, they knew a good tune when they heard one.

13. Cactus Jack and Franklin D.

The popular fiddle tune “Old Joe Clark” supports a 1932 ditty pitting Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt and Texas running mate John Garner against incumbent Republican Herbert Hoover.

14. The Republican Battle Hymn

An Empire State song from the 1944 campaign, which pitched Republican Thomas E. Dewey against Roosevelt. Dewey lost to FDR before his later, famously ironic loss to Harry Truman, but his team dropped a great zinger with the line, “a horse that’s run 12 years should be retired to pastures green.”

15. The Independent Man

From 1890, a rallying cry for the Farmers’ Alliance party, set to “The Girl I Left Behind Me.” Some things never change; this perennial addresses those who get disgusted with the major parties (whoever they are!).

Lost Radio Rounders

Tom Lindsay
Vocals, 6 & 12-string acoustic guitar, piano, organ, bass, strumstick, percussion

Michael Eck
Acoustic, banjo, octave and resonator mandolin; acoustic and resonator guitar; five-string, plectrum and tenor banjo; dobro; ukulele; jaw harp; jug; whistle; vocals


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