“I do not choose to run,” 1928

“I do not choose to run,” 1928

This song, written by Kenny and Dennis, was inspired by the famous refusal to run for President in 1928 announced by Calvin Coolidge in August the previous year. This performance by Harry Reser’s band with Tom Stacks (vocal) and the Six Jumping Jacks was recorded in March of 1928. The lyrics underscore Coolidge’s stubborn refusal to play along with expectations.

Billy bought a dollar watch

He thought he’d have some time.

But the thing was non-complete.

It wasn’t worth a dime.

Billy listened for a tick,

And almost passed away

He put the watch up to his ear

And heard it softly say:

I do not choose to run.

I do not choose to run.

Try and shake me

You can’t make me

My spring days are done.

Wind me up once more

Then drop me on the floor.

I don’t care

I just declare

I do not choose to run.


Billy had a jazzy band

They loved their music so.

Every where that Willie went

The band was sure to go.

When they heard this little song

Now, things have changed about

When Billy whispers, “Let’s go boys”,

The band begins to shout:

We do not choose to play.

We do not choose to play.

Break our fiddles in their middles

Throw our sax away

Leave a little (whistle)

Yell hip hip hurray

Any thing

We’ll even sing

We do not choose to play.

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