The Great Baby Show

The great songwriter, Stephen Foster, is most known for songs such as "Campton Races," "Beautiful Dreamer," and "My Old Kentucky Home." However, Foster happened to be a member of the Demoractic Party. He was also an in-law of James Buchanan, who ran in the 1856 presidential election. He witnessed a Republican parade that year in his home state of Pennsylvania. He thought the view of the speakers were ridiculous, as were the participants. Foster wrote "The Great Baby Show" in response to that political gathering. 

 

Air: Villikins & his Dinah 

Lyrics: Stephen Foster 

On the Seventeenth day of September, you know, 
Took place in our city the great baby show; 
They shut up the factories and let out the schools, 
For the Seventeenth day was the day of all fools. 

Chorus: 

Sing tu ral lal lu ral la lu ral lal lay. 

Sing tu ral lal lu ral la lu ral lal lay. 

They made a procession of wagons and boats, 
Of raccoons and oxen (they all have their votes) 
Sledge hammers, triangles and carpenter's tools, 
One thousand and eight hundred horses and mules. 

Chorus 

They had gemmen ob color to join in their games 
And jokers and clowns of all ages and names 
They had pop guns and tin pans and all kinds of toys 
And a very fine party of women and boys. 

Chorus 

They had young men on horse back, so nice and so gay, 
Aged Seventeen years on this Seventeenth day, 
And the ladies all thought they were bold cavaliers 
These bright looking lads ages seventeen years. 

Chorus 

They had grim border-ruffians, I'll bring to your mind, 
And they've plenty more left of the very same kind, 
They drank from a flask and played cards on the way, 
And the children looked on, on this Seventeenth day. 

Chorus 

They had Ohio Yankess of Western Reserve 
Who live upon cheese, ginger cakes and preserve, 
Abolition's their doctrine their rod and their staff, 
And they'll fight for a sixpence an hour and a half. 

Chorus 

Now was it not Kind in these good simple clowns 
To amuse all the children in both of our towns 
To shut up their work shops and spend so much money 
To black up their faces, get tight and be funny. 

Chorus 

They called it a council of freemen you know 
But I told you before 'twas a great baby show, 
For when they had met they had nothing to say 
But "Poor Bleeding Kansas" and "Ten Cents A Day" 

Chorus 

Then their ship Constitution was hauled through the street 
With sixteen small guns she was armed complete 
But the brave ship of State by which Democrats stand 
Carries thirty one guns with old Buck in command 

Chorus 

In the year '45 when the fire laid us waste 
Old Buck gave us five hundred dollars in haste 
They then took his money and lauded his name 
But he's now "Ten cent Jimmy", their banners proclaim.

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