Daily Archives: April 9, 2004

A Political Musical Treat For Ye

My pal Dave Wechsler, in addition to being a publicist for one of my publishers, is also a member of the fabulously odd band Pinataland, whose album Songs for the Forgotten Future is well worth owning. Dave tells me that, just for kicks and giggles, Pinataland unearthed “Little Know Ye Who’s Coming,” a political song from the 1824 presidential campaign that warned that everything was going to go to hell in a handbasket unless John Quincy Adams were elected to the US Presidency, and then just replaced the words “John Quincy” with “John Kerry” to give it that shiny 21st Century feeling. Well, as I’m sure you know, JQA won in 1824, so who knows.

I recommend you give it a spin, not only for the novelty of hearing a 19th century political ditty hauled forward 180 years, but also because of Pinataland’s suitably apocalyptic rending of the tune, which certainly does give the sonic impression that bad things really are right around the bend unless one votes Democratic in November. No doubt GOPers would beg to differ, but none of them have forwarded me gnarly campaign tunage. And no, “God Bless the USA” doesn’t count. Give Lee Greenwood a rest, already.

I should note, simply as a matter of accuracy, that while the Pinataland page the song is on suggests JQA was a Republican, that’s not strictly true: JQA was a Democratic-Republican, a relatively short-lived political party that nevertheless had a run of four Presidents, three of them excellent (Jefferson, Madison, Monroe) and one, well, not so much (JQA). The D-R party would eventually split into Democrats (who as a party continue to this day) and Whigs (who do not). The modern Republican party was founded in 1854, and of course Abe Lincon was the first Republican US President.