Monday Music: ‘James K. Polk’ by They Might Be Giants

You’ve probably been waiting, as so many others have, for a Presidents’ Day Song about James K. Polk. Your patience is rewarded: here’s They Might Be Giants with their original, definitely B-side song, ‘James K. Polk.’

As one can guess, it’s a tongue-in-cheek tribute, as Polk’s policies met with significant opposition (Lincoln and other Whigs, for example, opposed war with Mexico).



In 1844, the Democrats were split
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Louis Cass, a general and expansionist
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear
The factions soon agreed
He’s just the man we need
To bring about victory
Fulfill our manifest destiny
And annex the land the Mexicans command
And when the votes were cast the winner was
Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

In four short years he met his every goal
He seized the whole southwest from Mexico
Made sure the tarriffs fell
And made the English sell the Oregon territory
He built an independent treasury
Having done all this he sought no second term
But precious few have mourned the passing of
Mister James K. Polk, our eleventh president
Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump

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