Politics the Damnedest... in Kentucky

In February 1902, Judge James H. Mulligan (1844-1915) delivered his poem In Kentucky to a banquet of state legislators at Lexington's Phoenix Hotel. The poem is most often quoted for its last line describing politics in Kentucky as "the damnedest." It being election day, I thought it appropriate to share the full text. Oh, Be informed and VOTE!

The moonlight falls the softest 
 In Kentucky; 
The summer's days come oft'est
 In Kentucky; 
Friendship is the strongest,
Love's fires glow the longest;
Yet, a wrong is always wrongest
 In Kentucky.

The sunshine's ever brighest
 In Kentucky;
The breezes whisper lightest
 In Kentucky;
Plain girls are the fewest,
Maidens' eyes the bluest,
Their little hearts are truest
 In Kentucky.

Life's burdens bear the lightest
 In Kentucky;
The home fires burn the brightest
 In Kentucky;
While players are the keenest,
Cards come out the meanest,
The pocket empties cleanest
 In Kentucky.

Orators are the grandest
 In Kentucky;
Officials are the blandest
 In Kentucky;
Boys are all the fliest,
Danger ever nighest,
Taxes are the highest,
 In Kentucky.

The bluegrass waves the bluest
 In Kentucky;
Yet bluebloods are the fewest
 In Kentucky;
Moonshine is the clearest,
By no means the dearest,
And yet, it acts the queerest,
 In Kentucky. 

The dove's notes are the saddest
 In Kentucky;
The streams dance on the gladdest
 In Kentucky;
Hip pockets are the thickest,
Pistol hands the slickest,
The cylinder turns quickest
 In Kentucky.

Song birds are the sweetest
 In Kentucky;
The thoroughbreds the quickest
 In Kentucky;
Mountains tower proudest,
Thunder peals the loudest,
The landscape is the grandest - and
Politics - the damnedest
 In Kentucky.



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