Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Jordan

I like (parts of) this poem, which I found in the “Hutchinson’s Republican Songster, for the Campaign of 1860” on Google Books. The ‘Hutchinson’ is question is a member of the Hutchinson Family, a famous singing family of the mid-1800s. This is from Lincoln’s first campaign for president.

JORDAN.
By J.J.H.
I LOOKED to the South, and I looked to the West,
And I saw old Slavery a comin’,
With four Northern doughfaces hitched up in front,
Driving Freedom to the other side of Jordan.
Then take off coats, boys, roll up sleeves,
Slavery is a hard foe to battle, I believe.

Slavery and Freedom, they both had a fight,
And the whole North came up behind ’em,
Hit Slavery a few knocks, with a free ballot box,
Sent it staggering to the other side of Jordan.
Take off, etc.

If I was the Legislature of these United States,
I’d settle this great question accordin’;
I’d let every slave go free, over land and on the sea,
Let ’em have a little hope this side of Jordan.
Then rouse up, ye freeman, the sword unsheath ;
Freedom is the best road to travel, I believe.

The South have their school, where the masters learn to
rule,
And they lord it o’er the Free States accordin’ ;
But sure they’d better quit, ere they rouse the Yankee grit,
And we tumble ’em over t’other side of Jordan.
Take off, etc.

Pennsylvania and Vermont have surely come to want,
To raise such scamps as Buck and Stephen,
And they’d better hire John Mitchell
with shillalah, club, and switchel, D
rive ’em down to Alabama, and leave ’em.
Then take off coats, boys, roll up sleeves ;
Slavery is a hard foe to battle.

But the day is drawing nigh
that Slavery must die,
And every one must do his part accordin’ ;
Then let us all unite to give every man his right,
And we’ll get our pay the other side of Jordan.
Then rouse up, ye freemen, the sword unsheath ;
Freedom is the best road to travel, I believe.

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One response to “Jordan

  1. Mark Nielsen November 12, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Good poem/song. I’ve had Lincoln on the brain lately, too. Can’t remember what I read or saw that started it.

    But I must also confess, when I saw the
    “take off, etc.”, my brain flashed on Bob and Doug Mackenzie from the old Great White North bit on SCTV. I just cannot explain how my mind has become this warped… but there it is.

    “Take off, eh! You hoser…”

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