Interpretations:Tippecanoe And Tyler Too
- This is a campaign song from the late 1830's, one of many with which the Whig campaign of William Henry Harrison (Old Tippacanoe) and his running mate, Tyler, flooded the public with propagandic songs that superceded the issues, which most would argue the Democrats of the time had a firm grip on. The end result was the ousting of Martin Van Buren.
- It's also worth mentioning that William Henry Harrison was the first president to die in office, 30 days into his term of Pneumonia that began as a mild illness on inauguration day.
- Given that this song appears on an album intent on raising funds for defeating Bush in the 2004 election, it seems reasonable to assume that John and John are sending one of, if not both of the following messages:
- 1) Using an historical period to allude to a contemporary situation with the intent of encouraging the idea that the Bush administration is flagrantly propagandic and deceitful.
- 2) It's ironic. They sing a song about the misuse of music as a campaign tool while they, in effect, do the same thing. Along this same vein they may also be demonstrating the power of music as a campaign tool, and thus be an optimistic outlook on their efforts with the publication of this book and album.
- So it seems the Giants are making fun of themselves and celebrating their own influence, all while condemning Bush.
- Or maybe they just like the song, or perhaps I'm missing something else entirely. --nh-londonderry8b-a-247.mrrmnh.adelphia.net 00:45, August 25, 2004
- 9-1-04 Also, a love of "hard cider" and a backwoodsy (log cabins) demeanor are complaints that have been themselves leveled at Bush. The highly ominous tone and the idea of trading on a popular Indian massacre lead me to doubt that TMBG are or would have been Harrison supporters. Incidentally, doesn't it seem that Sarah Vowell must be over the moon that They covered this one? -User:Tisher 08:26, September 1, 2004
- And though Van Buren would've probably been the candidate the Johns would have supported (if it weren't a hundred and twenty years before their birth), it is worth noting that Martin Van Buren is referred to by his middle name, Van, as is Bush, W. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 15:39, September 19, 2004
Lillian Cunningham also mentioned the song on her podcast Presidential.
Sheer genius! (mr Tuck) 13:34, May 19, 2005
Comparison to 2004 campaign
I saw this as a direct comparison to the two running in 2004. William H. Harrison made his name as a military man, as did John Kerry. "Little Van" obviously would be Bush. Martin Van Buren became President mostly because he was Vice-President under the charismatic Andrew Jackson while the general perception of George W. Bush was that he was a "little man" trying to live up to his daddy and his hero, Ronald Reagan. That Martin Van Buren was a 1 termer was not lost on the Johns, no fans of Bush. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 21:25, December 17, 2008
Many years later
Hard to believe that after nearly two centuries, politicians are still using insults like "Little Van", or in President Trump's case, "Little Marco" or "Little Rocket Man" , or even confounding typos like "Liddle Bob Corker" . Are we really that un-evolved that kindergarten insults remain the standard-bearer for winning political office in the US? Almost makes you want to go back to the "W" years. Who would have ever thought there would be nostalgia for that?! --MisterMe (talk) 08:58, 29 December 2017 (EST)