Song of the Presidents by Oscar Brand, a Singable Picture Book
Posted February 15, 2013on:
This is a great song for learning not only the president’s names but also a bit of history for each. This song offers a snapshot of much of American history and could easily be the basis of a history class.
Many thanks to Oscar Brand for this wonderful song, musically set to a familiar tune:
Lyric sheet so you can sing along:
Song of the Presidents
Words by Oscar Brand
Sing to the Tune of Yankee Doodle
Book Assembled by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
To view or print this lyric sheet, click here:
Song of the Presidents (words by Oscar Brand) lyric sheet
I found this song on:
Click here for Smithsonian Folkways page about this amazing CD:
SONG OF THE PRESIDENTS
Sing to the tune of Yankee Doodle
Words by Oscar Brand
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 feeling.
And John Q. Adams followed him
For extra power appealing.
When Jackson won at New Orleans
The voter said “We need him!”
Then he arranged for “Little Matt”
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 Fillmore 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 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 US 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
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
Tell him where to lead ‘em
And somehow we keep travelling on
The road to Peace and Freedom!
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