Monday, February 2, 2009

Words and the Presidents that Use 'em

Bill Henry Harrison's excessive use of 'power' perhaps underscored an overweening? After his two-hour inaugural speech (delivered without overcoat or hat--to exhibit the sturdy stock of an old soldier still in him) he caught cold which turned to pneumonia and pleurisy. Died after a sickly thirty days in office.

Shattered the hopes of the Whigs and Clay's American System. Was at least the first sitting president to be photographed.

It's also said that Harrison sang himself into the presidency, as his campaign was the first to use an endemically catchy tune to fuel large crowds with song (and drink). The euphonious concatenation of polemic against Van Buren and saturated support of Harrison (nicknamed Tippecanoe) and Tyler is titled 'Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.'

What's the cause of this commotion, motion, motion,
Our country's going through?
It is the ball a-rolling on
For Tippecanoe and Tyler too.
For Tippecanoe and Tyler too.
And with them we'll beat little Van, Van, Van,
Van is a used up man.
And with them we'll beat little Van...

'Tippecanoe and Tyler Too' reverberates with the patting of a military drum. The power of its mellifluity perhaps caught too greatly in the heart of its notional progenitor? Alternate title for this post could've been 'Presidents and the Words that Use 'em.'

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