A group of Master Masons talk about topics of Masonic interest--each from their own unique perspective. You'll find a wide range of subjects including history, trivia, travel, book reviews, great quotes, and hopefully a little humor as well on topics of interest for Freemasons and those interested in the subject of Freemasonry.
the 1962 Indiana Senatorial campaign, young Democratic upstart Birch Bayh went
up against the venerable Republican incumbent Homer E. Capehart, in a
relatively conservative state where young Bayh's chances were not seen as very
good. The two candidates, Masonic
Brothers, went after each other in a brutal campaign that was too close to
predict right down to the bitter end.
the end of the race, Bayh's campaign staff came up with new words to a little
ditty from a 1960 Broadway show starring Lucille Ball, Wildcat. The song was Hey, Look Me Over.
a song so catchy, you can almost hear the tune as you read the lyrics:
look me over, lend me an ear,
out of clover, mortgaged up to here...
staff modified the lyrics to tout his campaign and for the last few weeks of
the race, inundated Hoosier voters with it.
Or, as Time Magazine put it, "In the last two weeks of the
campaign, Hoosiers heard little else on radio and television stations." After Bayh's song blitz, he had practically
every Hoosier, Republican and Democrat humming the tune or singing:
look him over, he's your kind of guy,
first name is Birch, his last name is Bayh,
for Senator for the Hoosier state,
Indiana he'll do more than anyone has done before,
own Birch Bayh...
so on. According to one Hoosier who was
there to hear it, "You simply could not get the song out of your head, and
could not turn on a radio or TV without hearing it."
were a lot of factors that led to Birch Bayh winning by the slimmest of margins
in 1962... Bayh's charisma, President Kennedy's support, Capehart coming across
like a fuddy duddy and more, but there are analysts who give that song most of
the credit. Time reported,
"After the Indiana populace heard [the song] for the 22,356th time in the
autumn of 1962, Birch Bayh went to Washington."
Birch Bayh went on to a stellar career in the US Senate and was briefly, in
1976, considered a front-runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
the 1968 Senatorial campaign rolled around, Bayh ran for re-election and
Hoosiers braced their ears to hear that successful campaign song over and
over. But Bayh's campaign jingle, which
had proven so successful, was never heard again.
With the song still in copyright the Republicans, badly burned by it six years
earlier, bought the rights to the tune and quietly put it on the shelf. Despite having his theme song silenced
Brother Bayh won the election and eventually served 18 years in the US Senate.
Steve Harrison, 32° KCCH, is a Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is the editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine, author of the book Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi,
a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research and also its Senior Warden.
He is a dual member of Kearney Lodge #311, St. Joseph Missouri Valley
of the Scottish Rite, Liberty York Rite, Moila Shrine and is a member of
the DeMolay Legion of Honor.