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The origin of the "American Presidents" by Genevieve Madeline Ryan is somewhat unique. One year, Genevieve's father asked her to memorize the order of the Presidents of the United States for Father's Day. As she did, she began to come up with rhymes to help her remember each President. After sharing this method with her family, they told her that many children in the United Kingdom are taught a poem to help them learn the order of the Kings and Queens. Genevieve decided to write a similar poem with the goal of teaching the Presidents to American children.

As the project grew from a simple poem into a more elaborate musical piece, Genevieve turned to those around her for guidance and assistance on the project. She contacted Hugh Sidey, the late Presidential historian and White House correspondent, to whom this song is dedicated, for help with historical accuracy. Next, she contacted Leonard Slatkin, the conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra at the time, regarding musicality. Finally, Jim Kessler helped arrange the piece and take it from a simple melody to a full musical composition. The song has been professionally recorded and is now available for Americans of every age to learn more about the highest office of this wonderful country.


This song is dedicated to Hugh Sidey, my close mentor and friend and the "Historian to the Presidents." May his devotion and love for the Presidency inspire America's youth for years to come.

— Genevieve Ryan

Lyrics:

America’s president number one, Founding Father Washington.

John Adams, second president, The very first White House resident.

Thomas Jefferson, number three, Doubled the size of our country.

Then James Madison, number four, Led us through the English war.

James Monroe is number five, His Monroe Doctrine still survives.

Another Adams, John Quincy, Rose to the sixth presidency.

Seven, Andrew Jackson, Was a frontier common man.

Number eight, Van Buren, First president born an “American.”

Harrison, nine, passed away, One month after Inaugural Day.

President Tyler, number ten, Ended the war with the Indians.

James K. Polk, eleven, Looked to western expansion.

Taylor, twelve, of the army, Nicknamed “Rough and Ready.”

Thirteen, Fillmore, in his eyes, Best for all was a compromise.

Fourteen, Franklin Pierce is here, The Civil War is drawing near.

James Buchanan, fifteen, The one bach’lor we’ve ever seen.

Sixteen, Lincoln, “Honest Abe,” Signed the law that freed the slaves.

Seventeen, Andrew Johnson, Started Reconstruction.

Eighteen, Union General Grant, Had led his troops with good judgment.

Nineteen, President R.B. Hayes, Pursued the South in many ways.

Garfield, number twenty, Killed while in his presidency.

Chester Arthur, twenty one, Sought reform and got it done.

Grover Cleveland, twenty two, Remember him ‘cause he’s not through.

Twenty three, Harrison, comes again, It’s William’s grandson, Benjamin.

Grover Cleveland, twenty four, Ran for the White House, elected once more.

Here’s McKinley, twenty five, The Twentieth Century had arrived.

Teddy Roosevelt, twenty six, “Speak softly and carry a big stick!”

Twenty seven, Taft we see, Biggest man in the presidency.

Woodrow Wilson, twenty eight, Thought a League of Nations was great.

Twenty nine, Harding, Post-World War One, “Normalcy” promised to everyone.

Calvin Coolidge, thirty, Taught one and all frugality.

Herbert Hoover, thirty one, Oh no! The Depression had begun.

Franklin Roosevelt, thirty two, With his “New Deal” the country grew.

Harry Truman, thirty three, Won with atomic energy.

Eisenhower, thirty four, Commanded in the Second World War.

Thirty five, John Kennedy, Assassinated in sixty three.

Thirty six, Johnson, Lyndon B., He declared a “War on Poverty.”

Thirty seven, Nixon went far, Opening China and the U.S.S.R.

Gerald R. Ford, thirty eight, Moved the nation forward past Watergate.

Thirty nine, with all his might, Carter fought for human rights.

Reagan, forty, from the West, Taught the world that freedom’s best.

Bush, forty one, showed solid form, Freed a nation in “Desert Storm.”

Forty two, Bill Clinton, President through the Millennium.

George W. Bush, number forty three, Strengthened Homeland Security.

First to be elected of African descent, Obama our Forty-Fourth President.

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