The Presidents: Oscar Brand

It is President’s Day though when I was growing up we celebrated Lincoln’s birthday first on the 12th then later in the month, the 22nd, Washington’s. We got Lincoln’s birthday off while Washington’s birthday usually fell during the February vacation. Then somebody got the idea of a President’s Day as a Monday holiday. A mess followed after that with some days ignoring the title as they believed certain presidents didn’t deserve recognition; however, the name stuck and it stayed a Monday holiday.

If you’re looking for U.S. presidential campaign songs and political ditties dating from 1800 to 1950, you’ll find them on this Smithsonian-Folkways collection, Election Songs of the United States, which includes a “Yankee Doodle” spin-off urging “Fair and Free Elections” and Lincoln’s “Rally Round the Cause, Boys” to the tune of “Battle Cry of Freedom.” A few losers’ songs are featured as well. You’ll notice this song ends with Eisenhower. That would be because the collection was released in 1960.

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11 Comments on “The Presidents: Oscar Brand”

  1. Bob Says:

    What happened to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s special days? They are now both lumped into a Monday three day affair filled with furnature and automobile sales commercials. Which Presidents birthday are we celebrating? I think we should celebrate our ninth President, William Henry Harrison. He was a great President. He died after a month in office because he refused to wear a coat during his inauguration speach which he gave in a rain storm. He then caught pnumonia and died the next month. He didn’t have any time to propose bad legislation nor fight any war.

    I also like his Vice, John Tyler. He has a living grandson who is in his 80s. John Tyler fathered a son, with his new younger wife, when he was in his late 60s. His son fathered the current grandson, again with his new younger wife, when he was in his 70s. Therefore, John Tyler’s grandson lives in Virginia today. This was of course before the invention of Viagra or Cialis.

    I think we should petition the Congress to change the name of the holiday to Washington & Lincoln day. That way we won’t get confused and celebrate those lessor men who served our country who couldn’t father a child in their 70s. Can we still call George Washington the father of our country even though he didn’t have any blue pills?

    • katry Says:

      I tried to explain the whole progression of where those days went but I had to leave a bit out or it would go on forever. According to what I read, we are celebrating all of them. It had to do with the two birthdays too close together. They became a Monday holiday-President’s Day. Some states refused to change then congress made it a law sometime later.

      Well, I’m guessing the country was george’s legacy as he had only step-children. Buchanan was a bachelor so he left none either. Jefferson still has grandsons with too many greats to count. They used to play at Monticello when they were young before the place had been repaired.

  2. Zoey & Me Says:

    It still is confusing. And isn’t this a true sign of capitolism? Instead of celebrating Washington or Jefferson like we used to; stores open early for All President’s Sales. It’s changed and I don’t like it.

  3. Joe Says:

    The Federal Law in 1968 moved the Washington Birthday holiday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. It remained titled George Washington’s Birthday; as it is today. Presidents Day as a holiday was a media hype event. In my state of Missouri the State offices close on Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and the Federal Washington’s Birthday on the third Monday of February. It never was the intent of Congress to have a day honoring all presidents.

    • katry Says:

      My calendar has today labeled Presidents’ Day. I think that by making the holiday a Monday, poor President Washington got lost on the shufffle of a long weekend.

  4. GP Says:


    Is there any chance you could u/l the file again.

    I have been looking for that for some time to see if it is worthwhile.


  5. GP Says:

    Thank you very much.

    Being from north of the border I am a big Oscar Brand fan. I am still looking for his Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads, Vol. 2 & 3.

    Its time to send some greenbacks to the Smithsonian since the canuck buck have fallen in value. 🙁

    I didn’t know his campaign songs were there nor did I know about that newer album.

    Thanks again!

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