Off to the Races

Harness Racing

Mr. Frank Work’s team Edward and Dick Swiveller, driven by Mr. John Murphy, in their match against time, 2:20 to wagon, at the gentlemen’s driving park, Morissania, New York, July 13, 1882, time, 2:16 3-4


Air — “Yankee Doodle.”

Hurrah! Hurrah for Harrison!
Hurrah for Levi Morton!
The nags are picked the race to run,
Oh, don’t you hear them snortin’?

Hurrah, then, for the bonny flag!
It beats the old Bandana!
We’ll carry with it New York State,
And also Indiana!

The “off” one there’s from New York State,
The “nigh” from Indiana;
The “off” will run ‘gainst Grover great,
The “nigh” against Bandana.

Now Levi has a pedigree
And Ben is no beginner;
His grandsire in the Derby ran
Of ’40 and was winner.

For Harrison and Morton cheer!
They’re good old stock, remember;
Their powers of staying will appear
On homestretch in November.

If Levi wins in New York State
And Ben in Indiana,
‘Twill mean “Get out” for Grover great
And “Keep out” for Bandana.

Columbus Dispatch.


In the election of 1888,  the two swing states were New York and Indiana.    On the Republican side,  Benjamin Harrison, the presidential candidate, had been a senator from Indian, while his running mate, Levi Morton, had been both a governor of New York and a US representative from New York.  On the Democratic side, presidential candidate Grover Cleveland had been a governor of New York,  while his running mate, Allen Thurman, had been a representative and a senator from Ohio.

In a horse team, the horse on the driver’s left is the nigh horse; the horse on the driver’s right is the off horse.

“Bandana” is Allen Thurman; famous for frequently blowing his nose on a red bandana.

Ben Harrison’s grandsire was William Henry Harrison, who won the presidential election in 1840 (and promptly became the president with the shortest term in office, dying a month after his inauguration).

“Grover great” refers to his girth, not to to his accomplishments as president.

In the election, while Cleveland won the popular vote, Harrison took the Electoral College and so became president.

Tomorrow: Ready for the Battle

This entry was posted in Huzzah!, politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Off to the Races

  1. Pingback: Index of Titles and First Lines: 1888 Harrison Song Book | Madhouse Manor

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