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[Detail] Let me kiss him for his mother

Satire

A search on terms such as slavery, abolition, temperance, and women's rights, produce works that seriously argue for these causes as well as others that satirize them. For example, the New York Tribune's "Bourbon Ballads" claim to be a series of poems written from "what is assumed to be the Democratic point of view, but members of that party will perhaps hesitate to adopt the utterances as their own."

Alas! good times are bound to be my ruin!
That people are so prosperous is strange;
If crops were poor and there was nothing doin',
They might elect me in the hope of change.
Hard times are over. Discontent is ended.
It breaks the heart and blights the hope within me
To see Resumption triumph, harvests splendid,
And Providence undoubtedly agin me!

From "Providence Appears to be Agin Me," as Sung by One of the Confederate Democracy's Candidates for Office.

  • What elements of the Confederacy do these songs focus on for humor?
  • Do you think that the fact that these works appeared in the New York Tribune gives them credibility as satire?
  • How does such satire compare to song parody such as "Parody on To The West"?
  • What types of information do you need to have regarding the Confederacy to appreciate the satire?
  • How do you think that this historical context affects how well a parody or satire holds up over time?
  • Do you think that a culture's notion of humor changes over time?

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