Politics is a topic that always getsbrought up. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary politics are theactivities, actions, and policies that are used to gain and hold power in agovernment or to influence a government. Candidates can run for mayor of acity, governor of a state, or even president of a country. In the United statescandidates run a campaign to get people to vote for them. One of the things candidatesdo to get people to vote for them is a campaign jingle.
Music has been a partof our American political life since way back when. Campaign jingles is one ofthe most powerful ways of spreading a candidate’s message. Jingles have servedto elect, defeat, and make fun of political candidates as well as to advertisefor important political special interests such as abolition, temperance,women’s suffrage, or labor issues.
Tennessee has a significant impact onAmerican music. With that being said it is only right that I not only discussthe history of political songs and jingles, but specifically the history ofpolitical songs and jingles in Tennessee. Although first I will discuss themost memorable political songs and jingles of all time. The 1952 presidential electionbetween democrat Adlai E. Stevenson and republican Dwight D. Eisenhower willalways be unforgettable. The first campaign ad aired on television that year,and it was iconic.
It was not just iconic because it was the first, but becauseit was simply one of the catchiest political jingles ever. War hero, Dwight Eisenhower,created one of the most memorable political jingles in history. This campaign adwas produced by the famous, Walt-Disney studios and written by Irvin Berlin.
Theone-minute ad featured all type of cartoon people marching and singing “Ike forpresident, Ike for president, Ike for president, Ike for president…You likeIke. I like Ike. Everybody likes Ike – for president!” and so on. It alsofeatured a cartoon elephant. Livingroomcandidate.org informed us that Stevensonproved to be no match for the most admired living American, Eisenhower.
This adlead Eisenhower right to victory winning by a landslide. In 1960 we witnessed the closespresidential election in The United States history between Democratic John F.Kennedy and Republican Richard Nixon.
The next memorable jingle is from John F.Kennedy’s 1960 campaign. Kennedy’s campaign jingle was so interesting. Itcaught citizens attention the most because of the intro, which was femalevoices repeating Kennedy’s name. Kennedy’s name was repeated more thantwenty-five times throughout the one-minute campaign ad. The ad was clever aswell, the line that suck out to me the most is “Do you want a man for Presidentwho’s seasoned through and through? But not so dog-goned seasoned that he won’ttry something new? A man who’s old enough to know and young enough to do?” Thiswas very smart of Kennedy because a lot of people talked about his handsomelooks and youth.
I felt he addressed this in his campaign jingle to let peopleknow, yes I understand that you think I’m young but I’m old enough to know whatto do and young enough to it. Kennedy went on to win this election, but thiswas not the only jingle that helped him. Albert Gore Research center at MiddleTennessee State University informed us that in 1960, John F. Kennedy alsoenlisted the services of Frank Sinatra to sing a rewrite of his hit “HighHopes” for his presidential campaign. Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, andAndrew Johnson are three former American presidents, that became presidentswhile living in Tennessee.
Andrew Jackson was the first person of those threemen to enter the white house. Andrew Jackson is from The Hermitage, orNashville Tennessee very close to Middle Tennessee State University. In 1824Jackson ran for president. His political jingle was significant. It was a songentitled “Hunters of Kentucky.
” This song was written to show gratitude toAndrew Jackson and the others who fought in the Battle of New Orleans againstthe British. Although Jackson did not win in 1824 when he ran for president, heused this political jingle in both of his races 1824 and 1828. In 1828 heprospered and won. He was the 7thpresident of the United States of America and was president from 1829-1837. James K. Polk was the 11thpresident of The United states of America.
He served from 1845-1849. James K.Polk was attacked in contemporary political songs, but that did not stop him.James K. Polk was under the democratic party, and his opponent who attacked himHenry Clay was under the Whig party. Clay produced songs that claimed Polkwould end in smoke. The first couple lines of the jingle went “Oh Polk! Oh Polk!Don’t you know you will end in smoke! For up salt river you must go Polk! Andthe way you will go up will not be slow Polk,” and so on.
This was not the onlyanti-Polk song that Clay produced. All of these anti-Polk songs were a bad ideaon Clay’s part because they put all the attention on Polk. His deceitfulnessback fired, and James K. Polk went on to take the presidency spot. James K.
Polk and his running mateGeorge Dallas did not just stand by and listen to Henry’s songs. They releaseda anti-Polk song called “The Coon Exterminator that attacked Henry Clay becausehe was known at the “Old Coon.” In 1865, one of the most significant men for ending the CivilWar, former President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Following thisassassination Andrew Johnson became president. Andrew Johnson is the firstpresident to get impeached. Since Johnson did not run for president, there weremany anti-Johnson songs. One of the songs was entitled “Just Before Election,Andy.
” It read, “Just before election, Andy We are thinking most of you; Whilewe get our ballots handy Just be sure they’re not for you; No, dear Andy,you’ll not get them, but you will get what you deserve; Yes, you’ll get yourleave of absence As you swing around the curve.” Music is something that bringseveryone together. Candidates used this to their advantage and tried to singtheir way into the White house. Although a fantastic jingle is no guaranteedinto the White House it is extremely useful. This was and always will be one ofthe smartest ideas ever. Albert Gore Research center at Middle Tennessee StateUniversity opened my eyes up to a lot of Tennessee History and all types of history.Political Songs and jingles are something I never thought about or even researched.In 1960 the United States was in political turmoil.
Tennessee had a golden ageof political songs and jingles. This happened in the early 1970s. Many Tennesseansartist lent their voices, songwriting skills, stardom, and fame to candidatesso they could capitalize on the Election. Albert Gore Research center enlightenedus that However muchthey inspire listeners now to sing along karaoke style, the campaign songs ofthe 1970s could not mask an era of corruption and disappointment in America’spoliticians.
Now I am so ready for the next election to see what strategies andjingles the candidates come up with.