The Presidents of the United States of America (Volume 2)

by Electric Needle Room

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Jake Joyce
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Jake Joyce Great follow up to the first Presidents record. Love this band more than I love French silk pie, and that's really saying something. Favorite track: Theodore Roosevelt.
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1.
Abraham Lincoln Preserved the Union Led the country when It beat itself up Emancipation Proclamation He helped free the slaves During the war The Civil War By far the deadliest Well was it worth it? Some do not think so The Gettysburg Address Helped boost morale During the bleakest Time in the war They say that he's the greatest Leader, yeah he sure passed the test Came through when he was needed The one who we never seem to forget And we name most things after him We learned all about him when we were kids Others can't help but get compared to him Can I have 5 dollars? I just have pennies Was 6 foot 4 and Wore a big tophat Wherever he went You knew where he was at Did not approve of The CSA Honest Abe wanted One USA Suspended the writ of habeas corpus Detained suspsects accused of conspiracy He may have lost when he ran for Senate Had the last laugh, though, as President They say that he's the greatest Leader, yeah he sure passed the test Came through when he was needed The one who we never seem to forget And we name most things after him We learned all about him when we were kids Others can't help but get compared to him Can I have 5 dollars? I just have pennies He was the first one Assassinated Beloved now but Back then was hated Ahead of his time and idealistic Change is scary but Often needed They say that he's the greatest Leader, yeah he sure passed the test Came through when he was needed The one who we never seem to forget
2.
His future wife taught him how to write and read But this was not until he was 17 Began selling clothes in the Carolinas Eventually was governor of Tennessee Grew up In poverty No trust For those with money Lincoln was impressed and he joined his team After Lincoln died he was next to lead He would then take over Reconstruction Then angered most Republicans But stayed true To the Union During The Civil War The Radical Republicans They hate you The Radical Republicans They hate you Congressmen wanted the South to pay But he would constantly get in their way Slaves were now free but they faced Black Codes and he rarely seemed to show much sympathy In fact, he vetoed the first Civil Rights Bill Republicans said "ok, that's enough" They said he broke the Tenure of Office Act He was the first President impeached They tried To kick him out Sorry It did not work Fought for The poor people But not The former slaves Guess who? Andrew Johnson
3.
He said "Let us have peace" Unlikely rise he had Although he hated war He could not escape it Earned stripes in Mexico Did well in the army But he just wanted out He drank to ease that pain Led the North as general In the Civil War He would prove to everyone That he was a great fighter His friends and family Made up his Cabinet This led to corruption And much incompetence Under his leadership the country built the Transcontinental Railroad But underneath the accomplishments there lingered some scandal Justice was hard to find down South with Reconstruction He was blamed for a bad economy and a major recession Fifth war hero to assume The highest office But once he got to the top He did not have a clue A lot of things gone wrong were really out of his hands After he served two terms He thought that was enough Stayed busy after that But not in public office He smoked and drank too much Throat cancer would get him Led the North as general In the Civil War He would prove to everyone That he was a great fighter Fifth war hero to assume The highest office But once he got to the top He did not have a clue Ulysses Grant
4.
Ohio governor And representative Whig then Republican that's fact Wounded in combat while he Fought in the Civil War not once or twice He was five times He barely won the election In fact he lost the popular vote He defeated Samuel J. Tilden by one electoral vote This would cause, well, quite a controversy He lost the popular vote He would sneak in thanks to the Compromise of 1877 Stopped a big railroad strike Ended Reconstruction He sent the federal troops home It was soon after that That Jim Crow laws would pass And they would spread throughout the South He became a hero in Paraguay No, I'm not joking Many African Americans would sort of feel betrayed by him Rutherford was a big a proponent of using only hard money Rutherford was a family man devoted to his wife Lucy Rutherford B. Hayes
5.
It is certainly Sad when your legacy Is marked by one act By someone crazy Assassinated Less than four months in office Minister and preacher Latin and Greek teacher Master of communication Another veteran of the Civil War Ambidextrious Abolitionist Did not Get to accomplish much He would have James, James Garfield
6.
Chester You fought hard Arthur Against odds From New York he then headed west to Kansas Lawyer bothered by what he witnessed out there Represented those who couldn’t defend themselves Big supporter of John Fremont, Lincoln, Grant Chester A stalwart Arthur Hated at first Chester Later respected Surprised to be a nominee for Vice President Suspected of being involved with Garfield’s death Today we know he had nothing to do with it He later turned on Conkling and on patronage He prided himself on style Redecorated the White House Lost his party’s nomination Despite working so hard for them Arthur But changed his mind
7.
Seems like he's only known for thing and that's serving two nonconsecutive terms Only Democrat elected to office between 1860 to 1912 Turned his back on the spoils system Believed government should be limited Non-interventionist foreign policy Strongly was against imperialism Vetoed almost everything that came across his desk it seemed Fought for sound money, the gold standard Not cheap money pay up this would cause him the next election But four years later he's back and Boom the country's in a depression It's not your fault poor Cleveland It's not your fault poor Cleveland Grover Grover Cleveland Ma, ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House ha ha ha The second term was rough and he did his best But things still got worse, yeah they still got worse Stood firm on his foreign policy Kept the country out of Cuba and Hawaii First married in the White House First to have a child born there also Had integrity And had virtue Unfortunate events Hurt his legacy Vetoed almost everything that came across his desk it seemed Fought for sound money, the gold standard Not cheap money pay up this would cause him the next election But four years later he's back and Boom the country's in a depression It's not your fault poor Cleveland It's not your fault poor Cleveland Grover Grover Cleveland
8.
Benjamin Harrison Grandson of William Henry Rose in Indianapolis Great campaigner Fought for Civil War veterans And he was himself Gave 140 speeches Six states into the Union He raised the tariff higher than it'd ever been before Helped fight monopolies with Sherman Antitrust Act But he left, but he left, but he left, but he left The Panic of 1893 Was it caused, was it caused, was it caused, was it caused By the Sherman Silver Purchase Act? Some say yeah, some say yeah, some say yeah, some say yeah But Harrison was never for it And Harrison, Harrison, Harrison, Harrison approved of annexation of Hawaii But he left, But he left
9.
Religious man from Ohio Last President to fight in the Civil War Loved the gold standard Raised tariffs higher than they'd ever been before Took care of sick wife Ida Said destiny was in God's hands (oh yeah) Twice he defeated the charismatic speaker William Jennings Bryan Believed in Manifest Destiny But didn't want to be labeled an expansionist Unknowingly sparked the beginning of U.S. imperialism The Spanish American War Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, The Philippines Were taken and soon it would seem the U.S. empire achieved its dream William McKinley striked gold Didn't know bad things would unfold William McKinley was bold Influenced by lies they told First not expansionist Later imperialist Hawaii, Philippines, Panama Canal Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Boxer Rebellion Justify it, by saying it's "God's will" He freed the colonies from Spain Then ordered them under U.S. control He never wanted wars of conquest but public pressure would change his mind Helped the country gain power But assassinated in his second term And his vice TR would soon do much more than was ever done before
10.
Larger than life Charismatic Fought corruption Wasn't enough Don't mess with him He'll kick your butt Speaking softly with a big stick Born wealthy and privileged Aristocratic family In bustling New York City Mind was strong but body weak With his chronic asthma Picked on by big bullies But grew into a fighter And excelled at Harvard Theodore Roosevelt Entered politics at 23 Lost his first wife, parents, way too early Then a rancher in Dakota territory Wrote many books on biology Led the Rough Riders in Cuba His bravery helped him win the medal of honor Fame there helped him to Vice President When McKinley died he was the youngest President ever Theodore Roosevelt He was a warrior for the underdog Against big business Wanted the U.S. top dog Spread their influence A conservationist who fought for national parks Traveled around the world, always exploring something Drank a gallon of coffee a day A leading Progressive, the Bull Moose Party Spared the life of a bear, he's Teddy Lived life to the fullest, every day First to travel overseas in office First to call home the White House First to hold press conferences there First? Well, first of a lot of things. In his 60 years of living He did more than most do in 100 Theodore Roosevelt Go Teddy!
11.
William Taft 03:52
From a wealthy, powerful family in the Cincinnati Goal to be Supreme Court justice In his mind all along Sad he's remembered for getting Stuck in the White House bath tub When he really quite was Special for his humility William Howard Taft (Taft Taft Taft) Doesn't get all the credit For being one of the smartest Presidents we ever had His wife Nellie was quite smart too Was great at finding balance between the crazy right and left Supported anti-trust measures and "Dollar Diplomacy" Couldn't escape the shadow of T.R. Good friends but later enemies Hated the role of politician Always wanted to be just judge William Howard Taft (Taft Taft Taft) Split the Republican Party Glad not to be re-elected Influential as the chief justice for nine years Only one to serve in both offices In his later years he fought so hard for world peace He was kind of like a Founding Father William Howard Taft (Taft Taft Taft)
12.
His father was a Presbyterian minister They moved around a lot He hit the books really hard Played sports, excelled at Princeton University He hated being a lawyer so he changed careers to college professor He published some books, gave some memorable lectures His students loved his courses Soon he was in charge at Princeton and politics seemed the next logical step After four years as governor of New Jersey the timing was right to be President Elected because TR and Taft divided His progressive ideas on top Promptly expanded the size of government to try to even the playing field (Today) Hated by some Loved by others Only one to have a PHD After World War fought hard for world peace Helped Congress create the Federal Reserve and Federal Trade Commission Pushed for stricter laws on trusts and the beginning of the income tax (Boo!) Tried to keep the U.S. out of World War I At least in his first term But that changed in his second term after the Lusitania sinking and Zimmerman note Things got nasty when they entered the war with the Espionage and Sedition Acts People began to fear the government and they wanted their freedoms back The U.S. helped the Allied Powers win and he had his 14 Points He traveled far and wide to promote them So much that he had a stroke For a year he recovered Meanwhile racist riots broke out all over the country And Edith Wilson Essentially became the first female President Today hated by some Loved by others Hated by some Loved by others
13.
Flip flopper as a Senator Missed votes 40 percent of the time Did his best not to offend everyone Let colleagues make his mind up for him Rose in politics as a newspaperman He probably thought "make as many friends as you can." Warren G. Harding Warren G. Harding Warren G. Harding Warren G. Harding Compromiser, Mediator Where's the Love? Don't be a hater! He was nonconfrontational He wanted all to get along along along Had extramarital affairs The occassional nervous breakdown Presidential Campaign from his front porch Republicans thought he might say something dumb The Ohio Gang got him in much trouble The Teapot Dome Scandal, he did not know about To escape the controversy He took a Western journey But that ended badly Compromiser, Mediator Where's the Love? Don't be a hater! He was nonconfrontational He wanted all to get along along along
14.
Roaring twenties, laissez faire Booming times and he was there He limited the government Like he limited himself Never said much, but when he did Chose his words so carefully Frugal he lived modestly Sense of humor, dry as can be He said "If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it." Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace Opposites in every way Was born and raised in Vermont But rose in Massachusetts Did well as mayor, governor Ended the Boston Police Strike Asked by Harding to be his Vice Not polite if he declined Harding died and he was in Shocked everyone, and re-elected Restricted immigration Went against farm subsidies Focused internally first Except the Kellogg-Briand Pact Silent Cal rarely spoke more than he had too Hey did you know that he had a pet raccoon?
15.
Born poor and orphaned young Hated school, rough childhood From Iowa, he went across the country Made his way to Stanford He studied geology There he was known for his integrity After college, was still broke He went into mining Rose the corporate ladder He then made lots of money Traveled the world, worked in five continents He even spoke Chinese After success, he wanted to give back He felt the best way was to get into politics Herbert Hoover You got a bad rap but the Great Depression was kind of your fault Herbert Hoover You did some great things Tragically history forgets that The stock market crashed, crashed, crashed And he was blamed, blamed, blamed, blamed You probably did not know that he was a great reformer Created the RFC As a bailout stimulus But it did not work and things kept getting worse Of course not re-elected But was still behind the scenes

about

By day, Matt Beat is a middle school social studies teacher. By night, the multi-instrumentalist writes and records songs about dead Presidents. Actual dead Presidents. Not the rap duo. He is recording them chronologically, and these songs are about Presidents 15-31, from Abraham Lincoln (I'm sure you've heard of him and like him) to Herbert Hoover (I'm sure you've heard of him and don't like him). Didn’t know anything about Chester Arthur? Now you do. These songs are educational and catchy.

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released February 20, 2012

All songs written, recorded, and produced by Matt Beat.

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Electric Needle Room Lawrence, Kansas

Electric Needle Room are an indie pop band based in Lawrence, Kansas. It is mostly a solo project for Matt Beat, but his brother, Steven Beat, also helps with percussion. Emcee DL, Bryan Poole, Dave Thomas, and Chris Huggard have all helped the band with live performances throughout its history. ... more

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