The Presidents of the United States of America (Volume 3)

by Electric Needle Room

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1.
From the rich important family Roosevelt was his famous last name Theodore was his fifth cousin His wife Eleanor was sixth cousin FDR was idealistic, far from simplistic, opportunistic, highly ambitious Had lofty goals and lots of compassion Knew what he wanted, always demanded Only one who served more than 2 The Great Depression, World War 2 A beacon of hope during dark times Comforted the nation with his voice He firmly believed that the only Thing we have to fear is fear itself He thought he came to the rescue with his New Deal he would push through Self serving in the beginning Later, passion for the underdog In his first 100 days would Start a socialist experiment His way out of the Depression- expand government and subsidize Helped create the AAA, CCC, TVA, NRA, PWA, CWA, SEC, REA, FHA, FSA, FDIC, NLRB Welfare state to help poor people Helped pass social security A beacon of hope during dark times Comforted the nation with his voice He firmly believed that the only Thing we have to fear is fear itself and he kind of was right World War 2 all over Europe U.S. stayed true to neutrality Japan attacked Pearl Harbor A day that still lives in infamy Despite attempting to pack the Supreme Court Despite the fact he suffered from paralysis Despite the fact he forced Japanese Americans into internment camps after the hysteria He considered one of the very best Influenced generations well after his death Only President who served more than two terms Elected 4 times the people dependent on him Thrust into the deadliest war Saved Europe and the Pacific He met with Churchill and Stalin He hoped they could finally have world peace A beacon of hope during dark times Comforted the nation with his voice He firmly believed that the only Thing we have to fear is fear itself Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) (Frankie D)
2.
Harry Truman 04:54
He was born and raised in the Show Me State Wore thick glasses and spent much time reading Snuck into the army memorizing an eye chart Captain in World War 1 of the Dizzy Ds He was a farmer, never went to college Lifelong Democrat, failed businessman No one heard of him before he was 50 He played piano well Man from Independence Down to earth, and average Determined, never gave up Always unassuming Jackson County judge thanks to Mike Pendergast Loved people, and boy, they sure loved him back Crisscrossed Missouri to become Senator Helped end mismanagement in the defense industry Then what happened came as a great shock Asked to be Roosevelt's Vice President His worst fear came true when Roosevelt died He now was in charge to end World War 2 Made the tough choice to drop the atom bomb Bringing World War 2 to a deadly close Fought for the United Nations All about the Marshall Plan Containment of Communism That was the Truman Doctrine Soon Korea needed help Truman then sent troops to them But here we go again less than five years later back at war, back at war The Cold War has begun Time to police the world The Cold War has begun Harry Truman, man from Independence Harry Truman, down to earth, and average Harry Truman, determined, never gave up Harry Truman, always unassuming Fired MacArthur, yeah the buck stops here Foreign policy defined his presidency His Fair Deal called for progressive ideals Underdog when he defeated Thomas Dewey
3.
Here's the story of Dwight D. Eisenhower President from '53 to '61 A time when the economy blossomed Military man for most of his life Skilled leader and strategist and athlete Born in Texas, raised in Abilene, Kansas But moved around a lot as an adult Bored with coaching and behind the scenes Wanted to be where the action was at Eventually promoted to major general It was World War 2 where he got his chance They all said "I Like Ike!" War hero after leading the D-Day invasion The five-star general who brought down Germany Came back home, Americans now wanted him President But he didn't want anything to do with that Changed his mind in '52 and won as Republican Growing weary of war, brought the troops home from Korea But never stopped his fight of Communism And led NATO for a little bit So concerned about the domino theory But still kept the country out of war And most said "I Like Ike!" Cold War Hysteria Covert Operations The CIA started overthrowing governments Arms Race Space Race Militarism The military industrial complex begins The appointment of Chief Justice Warren was big Brown v Board of Education caused a stir And the Interstate Highway System was started Had a heart attack, didn't know if he'd run again He took the Suez Canal Crisis in stride Kept the country safe, rewarded with re-election Sent troops to keep order in Little Rock Helped start NASA, sent a rocket to space Began to think the military was too big Liked diplomacy, but hard to plead his case And some said "I Like Ike!" They all said "I Like Ike!" And most said "I Like Ike!"
4.
John Kennedy 05:47
Privileged kid from Massachusetts Roman Catholic, Irish ancestry Loved football, history, and reading Growing up well-traveled and well-rounded He could talk to anyone and he could solve most problems Legacy overshadowed by his death Most say hero, most say one of the best They called him John F. Kennedy Saved lives as commander in World War 2 Published author, Pulitzer Prize winner His dad pressured him into politics And boom! Young Congressman and later Senator He had charisma and charm He always seemed to say the just right things He had passion and youthful energy He gave Americans hope to chase dreams Some called him Jack Kennedy His presidency started out shaky With the failed invasion of Bay of Pigs Began sending troops to Vietnam Just before he died he wanted them back home He could talk to anyone and he could solve most problems Legacy overshadowed by his death Most say hero, most say one of the best They called him John F. Kennedy When the country panicked with the Cuban Missle Crisis He was calm and collected And he won with diplomacy Of course he was far from perfect Had affairs with various women Today most believe a conspiracy Was behind his assassination He had charisma and charm He always seemed to say the just right things He had passion and youthful energy He gave Americans hope to chase dreams Some called him Jack Kennedy They called him John F. Kennedy
5.
Helping the poor was his main goal Helping the helpless was his main fight But the Vietnam War got in the way of his domestic agenda The Vietnam War escalated and he did not try to stop it Lyndon B. Johnson Progressive Texas thinker, started out as a teacher After that, most of his life- career politician Left Congress to help out with World War 2 Senate Majority Leader, Minority Leader, too Wife Lady Bird invested, helped him earn millions Known to be domineering to advance legislation Helping the poor was his main goal Helping the helpless was his main fight But the Vietnam War got in the way of his domestic agenda The Vietnam War escalated and he did not try to stop it As President sent more and more troops to Vietnam Underestimated the strength of the Viet Cong A strong anti-war movement grew out of this But with growing numbers against him, LBJ persisted Back at home tried to build a Great Society Medicare, Medicaid, a full out war on poverty Expanded the space program, the U.S. went to the moon! But with riots in the streets back home, the country seemed doomed In '68 LBJ said he'd not run again Between Vietnam and inflation his time was limited They said "Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" Lyndon B. Johnson They said "Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?"
6.
From California A brilliant man who Never got close to About anybody Richard Nixon We won't forget But perhaps for The wrong reasons Became well known when Called out Communists But he was not like crazy McCarthy Vice President With Eisenhower Couldn't beat JFK In a close one First and only to resign Said he wasn't a crook, but there were three crimes Got out of Vietnam, but it took him awhile Came back again and This time he won Went straight to work before His term started Went to China And opened trade Eased tensions with The Soviets Conservative who Expanded government The EPA and The War on Drugs No gold standard Just price controls Helping Israel Caused an embargo Reaction to the Pentagon Papers and mischief at the Watergate Then trying to cover it up That would determine his fate First and only to resign Said he wasn't a crook, but there were three crimes Got out of Vietnam, but it took him awhile Richard Nixon Richard Nixon Accomplished much That's forgotten
7.
Gerald Ford 04:30
Played football at Michigan Turned down the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers Instead went to Yale to study law and coach Even spent a summer working Yellowstone Served in the Navy in World War 2 Held on to bachelorhood Next he was Congressmen After wedding Betty He was Gerald Ford Classic moderate Did not shake things up too much He was Gerald Ford Tried to heal the wounds That his predecessor caused Studied the death of JFK But did he get it right? Survived two assassination tries Gerald Ford Struggled with public speaking Pardoned Nixon soon after sworn in Dealt with oil shortages and inflation Worried greatly about the deficit He was Gerald Ford Classic moderate Did not shake things up too much He was Gerald Ford Tried to heal the wounds That his predecessor caused Studied the death of JFK But did he get it right? Survived two assassination tries Gerald Ford
8.
Jimmy Carter 03:00
Jimmy Carter grew up in Georgia Picking cotton, growing peanuts Hanging out with all of the black kids When most of the grownups were racist For many years he served in the Navy Came back to work on his Daddy's farm Next he joined the local school board Later became state senator Though many in Georgia didn't like him He would become their most famous governor Then decided to run for President Promised he was the outsider Some called him two-faced and phony In '76 won anyway Had fireside chats with the people Liked all the deregulation Helped produce the Camp David Accords Strongly for a balanced budget But then the Iranian hostage crisis And so many Cuban refugees Between high gas prices and inflation The country had enough of him Though many thought his Presidency didn't go well He did a lot for human rights long after that Jimmy Carter
9.
Ronald Reagan Raised poor, didn't know it Athletic, thought poorly of government Became a disc jockey and an actor Hollywood didn't know what to think of him People pleaser, great communicator Stopped acting, got involved in politics His mission was to end Communism He was the oldest to be President He said government was not the solution He said government was the problem Became governor of California With a surplus, gave rebates to everyone After five years of running, elected President Shot and wounded, nearly assassinated Tensions rising, with the Soviets The Iran Contra affair raised questions His mission was to end Communism He was the oldest to be President He said government was not the solution He said government was the problem Nominated O'Connor First woman on the Supreme Court His eight years saw prosperity Inflation dip, drop in unemployment But caused the debt to soar Expanding the military He tried to help with lots of tax cuts and trickle down economics Bombed Libya, invaded Grenada He said Gorbachev, tear down that wall And soon Communism would fall Still popular when he left office Alzheimer's would get him in the end But his legacy is still strong today His mission was to end Communism He was the oldest to be President He said government was not the solution He said government was the problem
10.
His dad was Prescott Bush, the U.S. Senator Did well as a Navy pilot in World War 2 Went to Yale then got rich in the oil business Then Congressman where he made lots of friends UN Ambassador, chairman of the RNC Ambassador to China, and CIA Chief Persian Gulf War, recession, raised taxes Even though he promised he would not Public service seemed to be his purpose George Herbert Walker Bush woah Vice President to Reagan, took over after him Came off as preppy and, well, maybe out of touch The Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War came to an end He signed lots of bills to help the environment Launched Operation Just Cause, saved Kuwait from Iraq Persian Gulf War, recession, raised taxes Even though he promised he would not Public service seemed to be his purpose George Herbert Walker Bush woah Growing national debt, rising unemployment Also Ross Perot prevented re-election Public service continued after retirement And two of his sons followed him into politics Persian Gulf War, recession, raised taxes Even though he promised he would not Public service seemed to be his purpose George Herbert Walker Bush woah
11.
Bill Clinton 05:24
Always one for politics Never seemed to escape scandal Had many accomplishments But all they remember was scandal Bill Clinton, born and raised in Arkansas Never knew his real papa Long planned to go into law Avoided the draft into Vietnam Went to Georgetown, Yale, Oxford Got with Hillary Rodham It didn't take long before his first campaign Attorney general, soon youngest governor Always one for politics Never seemed to escape scandal Had many accomplishments But all they remember was scandal President, and second youngest elected and he quickly would be tested with violence near Waco and the World Trade Center Signed a law that made it harder to get guns the FMLA and NAFTA Favored collectivistism Extramarital affairs, accusations abounded Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Zippergate, and Vince Foster's death Second President impeached, for perjury and obstruction of justice Personal life got in his way but people would forget Always one for politics Never seemed to escape scandal Had many accomplishments But all they remember was scandal Saxophone solo (you know, because he plays the sax) New Democrat, centrist, Third Way, met halfway Gave Republicans the time of day But taxed the rich so he got his way Welfare reform, a budget surplus to end his term A failed health care reform attempt "Don't ask, don't tell" controversial He bombed Iraq, the Balkans, Black Hawk Down Still kept the empire, even though no Cold War OKC bombing, the rise of Al Qaeda Pakistan, India, Middle East, fragile peace Always one for politics Never seemed to escape scandal Had many accomplishments But all they remember was scandal Left office, with a high approval rating His wife, she kept debating and he's still doing his thing
12.
Everybody liked him, he had a lot of friends Loved sports growing up out in Western Texas Felt pressure from the bar set high by his dad The more his dad pushed, the more he rebelled Struggled academically, but turned it around Even made it through Yale, and later Harvard Pilot for the Texas Air National Guard Made riches with the Rangers, drilling oil, went far Alcohol battles, turned to his religion Struggled with public speaking, had some Bushisms Pushed reforms as governor of Texas Success there later helped become President He was an average good guy Who rocked the boat in his Presidency Okay he was President, but barely beat Gore The Court stopped the recount in Florida Compassionate conservative, No Child Left Behind Many say this broke the tenth amendment But then 9/11 happened, and everything changed Well Bush changed many things drastically Formed the Department of Homeland Security The people were scared of Al Qaeda and more They demanded the government just do more So Bush did more, signed the Patriot Act Said the government could spy and wiretap Signed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Decided to preemptively strike Iraq Invaded Afghanistan and they're still there Detained with no trial, tortured many suspects Half the Bill of Rights abused and ignored in the name of security, protect the borders! He was an average good guy Who rocked the boat in his Presidency George W. Bush Dubya W. Bush George W. Bush Dubya W. Bush No weapons of mass destruction found Hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq Began the never-ending War of Terror Or as they call it the War on Terrorism But will this war, will it ever end? Yes it will but terrorism will not Popularity soared after 9/11 And in 2004, he was re-elected But the wars dragged on and people were dying The money was gone, debt and deficit rising Housing bubble burst and everything with it Everybody affected by The Great Recession Bush and friends bailed out the big banks, big corporations, and even citizens Foreign policy questioned around the world A shoe thrown at his head, heck it was hurled Now things didn't go as well as he planned But he changed the world forever, this is where it stands George W. Bush Dubya W. Bush George W. Bush Dubya W. Bush

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 recorded them chronologically, and this is the final volume, from Franklin Roosevelt to George W. Bush. Didn’t know anything about Gerald Ford? Now you do. These songs are educational and catchy.

credits

released February 18, 2013

All music and lyrics by Matt Beat. All recorded performances by Matt Beat. Produced by Matt Beat. Artwork by Matt Beat. For goodness sake, if it's on the album, he did it.

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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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