A presidential campaign isn't complete without a song, and there has been theme music for U.S. presidential campaigns for a long time, but it wasn't always that way. President Martin van Buren and William H. Harrison battled for the presidency with the largest voting populous in US history, at the time. However, many of these voters were illiterate. The candidates needed a new way to message their platform, and they needed something that was memorable and wasn’t in print.
A recognizable tune and re-written lyrics for the campaign would prove to be an effective way to spread a message when William H. Harrison won the presidency in the election of 1840.
The Campaign Jukebox looks at the history of the campaign song, uncovering how it all began and what made the campaign song so necessary.