Lesser Known Presidents

by Adam Tressler

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released February 20, 2017

mixed/mastered by John Spiker
cover design by Jessalyn Brooks

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Track Name: Before She Turned to History(Martha Washington)
A little old woman in a puffy dress
She lives on in portraits and paragraphs
But you should know Martha,
She was more than just the first First Lady that there ever was
She had all of her babies before she met George

She left a good impression on everyone she met
She was always by the side of Mister Washington
But she burned every letter that he ever sent
She left nothing behind for the historians
Photographic images did not exist yet

Do me a favor, when you picture her,
Don’t think of the elderly
Imagine a young girl, light on her feet,
In a different century

Do me a favor when you think of her
Don’t think of her at 63
She was a young girl, pretty and sweet
Before she turned to history
Track Name: Snowball(John+Abigail Adams) feat. Jessalyn Brooks
if absence makes the heart grow
i’m running out of room
my soul burns for you
but i’ve got work to do

an ocean in between us
a message in a bottle
tossed in the blue
I hope this one gets through

by the candlelight
Jonathan found time to send off a letter to home

At least she’ll have something to hold
the snowball will grow as it rolls
picking up speed, gathering force
the snowball will grow as it rolls

every word we pass now
belongs to history
copied down in the books
twelve hundred back and forth

By the fireside
Abigail found time

to send off a letter to John
something for him to hold on to
the snowball will grow as it rolls
picking up speed, gathering force
the snowball will grow as it rolls
picking up speed, gathering force
the snowball will grow as it rolls
Track Name: Asshole(Andrew Jackson)
looking out from the 20 dollar bill
a general from tennesee
he was kind of an asshole

a man of the people when the people were worse
he looked down on his equals, he took revenge on them
met them on the dueling ground
he was kind of an asshole

with bullets in his chest
and skeletons in the closet
the hero of new orleans
always hit his target

a paranoid little boy for almost 80 years
and don't forget the trail of tears
he was kind of an asshole
he was kind of an asshole
Track Name: Matty Van(Martin Van Buren)
somethin about matty van
struck a chord with the everyman
sideburns, small frame
he had a lot of nicknames
that don’t prove a thing

The little magician
a mistletoe politician
old kinderhook
I guess he was OK
OK, he had a lot of nicknames
but that don’t prove a thing

there's something about matty van
a ginger with a balding head
it was a different time,
the past is a different place
he had a lot of nicknames
that don’t prove a thing

They call him King Matty Van
The American Tallyrand
the red fox, the enchanter
i could go on all day
but that don't prove a thing
he had a lot of nicknames
that don’t prove a thing
Track Name: 31 Days(William Henry Harrison)
Born in the winter of 73
Third down the line in the family
A young man carrying an old book, written in Greek
Made friends without making enemies

He gave a long speech in the cold rain
He rode a white horse in the parade
Everyone got a handshake
For thirty one days

He lived a long life, had a good wife, had kids of his own
Nine that lived to be full grown
He carried the banner, he was born to lead
Led his army to a victory

A general and a fighter
A gentleman and a father
He fell when he couldn’t go higher
After thirty one days
He was just getting started
When he joined the dearly departed
It seems that history forgot him
After thirty one days

Spoke his last words with his last breath
A sense of satisfaction right before
He passed away
After thirty one days

His grandson got the same job
William Henry would have been proud
But he never found out,
After thirty one days

The last words of a man who fought in three wars:
“I ask for nothing more” – William Henry Harrison, April 4, 1841
Track Name: His Grandson Still Lives(John Tyler)
he didn’t expect to be the President so soon
he was the 10th one, our first accidental ruler
he had fifteen kids
and his Grandson still lives in the same house his Grandfather did

John Tyler married Letitia and they had 8 kids
5 daughters and 3 sons before he was President
the family moved to the White House, and Mom got sick
she passed away and he didn’t wait to shack up with someone else

He didn’t expect to fall back in love so soon
when he met her, his new girl was 22
he had 15 kids
and his Grandson still lives in that same house his Grandfather did

the President married Julia, a woman of privilege
they had 2 more girls and 5 more boys
right up until the very end of his life
there was: David, John, Julia, Lachlan, Lyon and Robert and Pearl

he didn’t expect to be the president so soon
When he left us his family tree has set down roots
he had fifteen kids
and his grandson still lives in the same house his grandfather did
Just let that sink in:
HIS GRANDSON STILL LIVES IN THE SAME HOUSE HIS GRANDFATHER DID
Track Name: Toll(James Polk)
JP only wanted 4 years
he made that much clear
and JP wanted 4 things
He met every goal but it really took it’s toll

And he added wanted California
Set the border up in Oregon
got the money flowing
and kept the taxes down
he was really on a roll and it really took it’s toll

one by one he checked em off
and he won a war
but war takes a toll

He went home exhausted
He had a very short retirement
103 days and then he passed away at 53
he really gave it all and it really took it’s toll
James Polk really gave it all and it really took it’s toll
Track Name: Lesser Known Presidents(Zachary Taylor+Millard Fillmore)
Taylor and Fillmore couldn’t stop the war
They never even really tried
two of the lesser known presidents didn’t pass the test of time
both major figures at the time

two years into a four year term
Old Zachary Taylor died

Old Rough and Ready ate a poisoned cherry
and it killed him at sixty five
Millard was a filler but he wasn’t the killer
everybody called him Vice

Taylor and Fillmore nobody cares for
names we don’t recognize
all of the lesser known presidents
Were major players in their time

But nothing really got accomplished
They just passed the problem down the line

Old Rough and Ready ate a poisoned cherry
and it killed him at sixty five
Millard was a filler but he wasn’t the killer
Now they didn’t call him vice

all of the lesser known presidents
led pretty colorful lives
It’s a shame we’ve forgotten them
They didn’t pass the test of time
Track Name: Really Quite Sad(Franklin Pierce)
it’s really quite sad
Franklin knew how to make friends
he had a delicate wife, they were difficult times
he was out of his depth, in over his head
it’s really quite sad

Right before he took the oath he took a train
the 14th President, his little boy, his lady Jane
they were in a horrible crash
their only son died in their hands
they never really recovered from that
it’s really quite sad

four years later they went home
he was a failure, she was broken down
jane still wore a black dress, franklin drank himself to death
it’s really quite sad
really quite sad
Track Name: Just Before the Great One(James Buchanan)
Buchanan, born in Pennsylvania
He was the last dud, just before the great one
Won’t find his portrait in the hall of fame
Wasn’t much to celebrate
But He thought that time would clear his name

Buchanan, let the country fall apart
And he stood there, waited for a war to start
James did not think that Lincoln would be strong
History would prove him wrong
The day before he died, he claimed

James claimed “history will vindicate my memory”
No, it won’t.

Buchanan died in Pennsylvania
He was the last dud just before the great one
Track Name: Three Whiskeys(Andrew Johnson)
Should been the best day the best day of his whole life
The halls were packed so they could pass the prize
Granted, he was nervous,
So he took a little hair from the dog that bit him. Can you blame him?
He knocked em back one two three
Three whiskeys on the way out
Andrew johnson stood to speak
Three whiskeys on the way out

They tried to wrap it up but he waved them off
Pulling at his coat, begging him to stop
He rambled for fifteen minutes, you could hear crickets
It was just beyond belief
Three whiskeys on the way out
And he knocked em back one two three
Three whiskeys on the way out

Should been the best day the best day of his whole life
He wasn’t in command, but he was next line
A man with a purpose
What if something happens to Mister Lincoln
He became the President after 6 weeks
Three whiskeys on the way out
He knocked em back one two three
Three whiskeys on the way out
Track Name: Water Flows Like Wine(Rutherford Hayes)
Hayes, it’s time to celebrate
Break out the lemonade
Have you heard what the people say
“Around here, the water flows like wine
Around here the water flows like wine

Hayes, these are sobering days indeed
Your old lady took the blame
Lucy, she poured the lemonade
We gotta keep the white house dry
To please your wife
Around here the water flows like wine
Around here the water flows like wine

Hayes, do you always play safe?
What’s the harm in a little taste?
Around here the water flows like wine
Track Name: Claim to Fame(James Garfield)
I grew up near a sign that read
“This marks the spot where a President was born and raised”
My only claim to fame
A landscape James would not recognize
The dirt paths are covered in painted lines
There’s a parking lot by a cabin in the woods

As for me, I must have walked past the same oak trees
Back then they had fewer rings
So much else has changed
Some things are the same

Legend has it they were so poor
He did not own shoes until he turned four
In the past this was a different place
A man of science, an optimist,
In a time when this was the wilderness
Now the rolling hills hide mansions behind gates

As for me, I must have skipped rocks on the same creek
Back then the water was safe to drink
So much else has changed
Some things are the same

He left town at twenty eight
It’s a big world out there and it’s getting late
He had dreamt of this in the quiet of the night
Like it was written in the stars

As for me, I found myself under that same sky
Back then ohio had darker nights
The stars are out of reach
But it doesn’t hurt to dream

But be careful what you don’t wish for
You just might get it
Track Name: Someone's Got to Be Last(Warren Harding)
Someone’s got to be last
When a list is made, I’m sorry, but someone’s got to be last

If you look at the ranking of the presidency you will see President Warren G at the bottom.
45 and counting
But honestly Mister Harding you had hardly done a thing for our democracy when you passed the crown

So I’m sorry, someone’s got to be last
When a list is made, I’m sorry, someone’s to to be last

You did alright for almost your whole life but then at the finish line you took a train and your heart gave out
You chose to stand with your head in the sand while some corrupted men took your legacy and dragged it through the ground


If you look at the ranking of the presidency you will presently see Warren G at the bottom.
45 and counting

So I’m sorry, someone’s got to be last
When a list is made, I’m sorry, someone’s to to be last
Track Name: herbert hoover
it woudn’t be right not to mention herbert hoover
he came along at the wrong place and time
he doesn’t compare but he wasn’t just a loser
he had already done his part for us
but we forget that now
we forget that now

would i be remiss if i didn’t mention coolidge?
he played it cool, he did the job just fine
he passed the baton to a man named herbert hoover
he became the face of everything that went wrong
it happened on his watch but it was not his fault
it’s up to us to decide how the leader is judged
don’t forget that now
don’t forget that now