The Presidents

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The Presidents
ReleaseThing a Week Three
Release date04-28-2006
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"The Presidents" is a song on Jonathan Coulton's sixth album, Thing a Week Three.


"The Presidents" was released as the thirtieth Thing a Week on April 28, 2006. It was originally written for John Hodgman's Little Gray Books Lecture #30, "How to Observe Presidents Day (Observed)". Jonathan said it was originally performed with the Hungry March Band, who played "Hail to the Chief" in between verses. The Thing a Week version instead has Jonathan playing toy instruments.

Live Performance

As indicated above, "The Presidents" was originally played during a Little Gray Lecture (Download MP3); however the only time it's been played at a Jonathan Coulton concert was at the Barack Obama fundraiser on September 15th, 2008.

Note: after the 2008 election, the song was played with revised lyrics in Seattle and at the Nyack, NY: 2008-11-22 show.


  • There was construction on the other side of the studio wall during the recording of this session. Jonathan has said: "You may hear some of it here and there, but hey: this is Thing a Week, people."
  • President Garfield was, contrary to the lyrics, assassinated in 1881, not 1882. Jonathan corrected this during the above mentioned live performance with a lyric change to "Grant thought getting drunk was fun".



"The Presidents" is currently only available for purchase in the Jonathan Coulton MP3 Store as an individual track or as part of Thing a Week III. Of course, this song is also included as part of the "Everything" playlist.

Downloadable FLAC versions of the above are available in the Jonathan Coulton FLAC Store.


"Thing a Week III" is available for purchase as a CD here.


Thing-a-Week Three
1. Madelaine · 2. When You Go · 3. Code Monkey · 4. The Presidents · 5. Just as Long as Me · 6. Till the Money Comes · 7. Tom Cruise Crazy · 8. Famous Blue Raincoat · 9. Soft Rocked By Me · 10. Not About You · 11. Rock and Roll Boy · 12. Drinking With You · 13. Pizza Day