The Star-Eyed Goddess

John Bull greets the maiden Columbia.
John Bull greets the maiden Columbia.


Air- Policemen* s Chorus — Pirates of Penzance — “When a Felon’s not Engaged.

We are ready for the battle of November
That shall settle Grover Cleveland’s little fate,
And we feel no whit of fear, for we remember
We have got a soldier-statesman candidate!
We have drawn our swords to fight for trade protection,
And we follow gallant General Harrison!
Be happy now, dear Grover, the election
Will make your lot a most unhappy one!

We will follow gallant General Harrison,
Making Grover’s lot a most unhappy one.
We’ve unfurled the starry banner of the nation;
The nation is our promise and our care;
The flag floats on, while hills’ reverberation
Proclaims the people’s joy to see it there,
For industries must not be unprotected,
And we who do not want our trade undone
This autumn, mean to see with vim elected
A gentleman whose name is Harrison.
And we who do not want that trade undone
Will vote this fall for General Harrison.
We will march unto the voting place, this autumn,
With a straight Protection ballot and a spade ;
We’ll teach the Demmies there when we have caught ’em
And we’ll dig a grave and there inter Free Trade.
We’ll bury it so deep no trumpet sounded,
And no English-manufactured army gun
They may fire above the grave that we have rounded,
Can awake the Star-Eyed Goddess’s dead son.
And no English-manufactured army gun
Shall awake the Star-Eyed Goddess’s dead son!

Grover Cleveland is a John Bull in appearance;
They are brothers in the roundness of the vest,
They are brothers in denouncing interference
With the business of that land both love the best.
Then there’s Thurman, who is also very foreign —
A gentleman is he from ancient Rome ;
And he doesn’t seem to care a yellow florin
For the industries we’ve nurtured here at home.
Neither Cleveland nor this gentleman from Rome
Care for industries we’ve nurtured here at home!

But there’s Harrison and Morton for Protection!
And so we say we’re ready for the fight!
We are bound to win this National election,
For America, Protection and the Right!
No friend of Johnny Bull shall longer rule us,
Not even if he weighed a half a ton;
And no gentleman from ancient Rome shall fool us,
For we’re going to vote for Benny Harrison!
If Grover Cleveland weighed a half a ton,
We still should vote for Benny Harrison!

— O. C. Hooper


The presidential election of November, 1888, put Republican Benjamin Harrison (who favored protective tariffs), against incumbent Democrat Grover Cleveland (who favored free trade).

Free trade was widely seen (by the Republicans) as a British plot, favoring English manufacturers.

Benjamin Harrison had been a general in the Federal army during the American Civil War.

“Vim” is enthusiasm.  It is usually seen in the phrase “vim and vigor.”

The Star-Eyed Goddess is Free Trade.   (“The Star-Eyed Goddess” was a phrase of Henry Watterson, long-time editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal and an early syndicated columnist.)

John Bull is the personification of England (just as Uncle Sam is the personification of the USA).

The Democratic vice-presidential candidate was Allen Thurman, whose nickname was “The Old Roman.”

Morton was Levi Morton of New York, the Republican vice-presidential candidate.

“A half a ton” is a reference to Grover Cleveland’s impressive physique.

Tomorrow: The Two Ensigns.

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