Of all the great philosophers, none is quite so famous for being, well, a raving loon, as Friedrich Nietzsche.
Born in Rocken, near Leipzig, on October 15, he would become the most famous German philosopher of the 19th century. His best known works include the posthumous “Will To Power”, “Ecce Homo”, “Beyond Good and Evil” and “The Spake Zarathustra”.
Nietzsche was widely seen, in Germany and elsewhere, as a supporter of German militarism – and his work was influential to Hitler and other Nazis (although they were selective in their use and interpretation of him). Later, he was seen as a forerunner of the Existentialists. However, his most lasting contribution to Western culture may be the concept of the Übermensch, or Superman.
This time around, there’s no better way to tell it than with the actual lyrics. All you need is a little scene setting – it’s the Democratic Convention of 1844, in Baltimore:
In 1844, the Democrats were split. The three nominees for the presidential candidate Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist James Buchanan, a moderate Louis Cass, a general and expansionist. From Nashville came a dark horse riding up: He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump
Austere, severe, he held few people dear His oratory filled his foes with fear. The factions soon agreed: He’s just the man we need To bring about victory, Fulfil our manifest destiny, And annex the land the Mexicans command. And when the votes were cast the winner was Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump
And there you have it 🙂
Referenced in: James K. Polk – They Might Be Giants
I don’t intend to make a habit of simply quoting large slabs of lyrics here – it’s lazy, for one thing – but on this occasion, I felt an exception had to be made. There’s no way I could have summarised the same information as lucidly or as elegantly as this.