A FORWARD to what FOLLOWS
On PRESIDENTS DAY, February, 15, 2010 we at Dorpatsherrardlomont are distressed at how poorly Americans – generally – know the chronology of their so-far FORTY-FOUR PRESIDENTS. To do our modest something to correct this puzzling withdrawal from the history of our nation’s leaders we mean below to teach with rhymes for children. Certainly, many readers will find it easier to memorize verse than mere lists, and that is what you get below: honest poetry for honest ends and not as difficult as many poems used in accelerated reading programs to help primary school children’s chances for entering one or more of the best universities. When possible the rhymes have also been chosen for added patriotic meanings, which are also suitable for children. (Anyone who has picked up a book of rhyming words knows that there certainly are plenty of competing choices that are also proper ones.)
One final precaution: the poem begins with Warren G. Harding rather than George Washington. As you will soon discover, we needed a rhyme for “spouse’s bidding”.
44 IMPERFECT PATRIOTIC RHYMES for 44 ALMOST PERFECT PRESIDENTS
Set in Chronological Order for Easier Instruction for Minors & Their Parents in the History of the American Presidency.
In the name of Warren G. Harding
Give us this day to play
And do our spouse’s bidding.
First we fetch a key to the pantheon
From the owner George Washington.
Now all together we will holler at the Talibans
From behind the shoulders of John Adams,
And then fix some things in the Constitution.
(All the changes will be signed by Thomas Jefferson.)
We may arouse the distracted James Madison
With a Stereopticon and a little canon,
And then play “Friend or Foe”
With the doctrinal James Monroe.
Let us laugh again at the Talibans
With the son, John Quincy Adams.
Now let us put some steaks on
For Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren?
Invest in a panopticon and another little canon
With William Henry Harrison,
Who died of a cold
When but 32 days old.
Let’s Run a quarter-miler
With John Tyler,
Do a somersault
With James K Polk
Whose manifest destiny
Lassoed Oregon territory,
Followed by a nap in the trailer
With Zachary Taylor.
May we please eat some more
With Millard Fillmore
And dip the chin and eyes lower
For Franklin Pierce
Who died of cirrhosis.
We will play hide and seek in the White House
With bachelor James Buchanan dressed as a mouse,
And perhaps little bo peep – such fun!
Then turn the vacuum on and run
To excite Abraham Lincoln.
Now put a chop on,
For the impeached Andrew Johnson.
Let us now dance ‘till we pant
With Ulysses S. Grant
And then press his pants.
Take in two or three costume plays
With the unpopular Rutherford B. Hayes,
But now stand far-a-field
From James Garfield,
Discuss ding an sich and things obscure
With No. 21 Chester A Arthur,
Show our pictures of Disneyland
To Grover Cleveland,
And count again the budget and the bison
With “Billion Dollar” Benjamin Harrison.
Now Cleveland more –
He get’s his encore,
Which we break with a litany
For William McKinley.
Next get up and run about
With Theodore Roosevelt,
And this time ignore the fat
Of William Howard Taft.
Share some pheromones
With a Parisian Freudian
And Woodrow Wilson,
And pray for the pardoning
Of William G. Harding.
We open the fridge
For a thin Calvin Coolidge.
We may visit the Louvre
With Herbert Hoover,
And then fish in the West for smelt
With Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Or with Eleanor and him
And Harry S. Truman.
Yes, we do feel the military-industrial power
Of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Yet another litany
This for John F. Kennedy.
Now that’s no fun
So stuffed bears for everyone!
We’ll Visit Saigon
With Lyndon B. Johnson
And put a fix on
With Richard M. Nixon.
Next we may either continue
With west wing bourbon & shuffleboard
Or share a cheeseboard
With Betty and Gerald R. Ford.
Let us also share Coke and his brother
With James Carter.
And then entertain a gregarious vegan,
While White House guests of Ronald Reagan.
We are pleased to sit on our tooshies
Between the two Bushies
(George on the left, George on the right))
And in between them
Carve a soapstone billikin
With the handy Bill Clinton?
At last we will sit in our pajamas
With the Barack Obamas?