King Cotton>.

>Old Cotton is king, boys—aha!
With his locks so fleecy and white!
He shines among kings like a star!
And his is the sceptre of right,
Boys, of right,
And his is the sceptre of right!
>Old Cotton, the king, has no care,
No queen, and no heir to his throne,
No courtiers, his triumphs to share,
He rules his dominions alone,
Boys, alone!
He rules his dominions alone!
>Old Cotton, the merry old boy!—
Like smoke from the pipe in his mouth
His years glide away in their joy,
At home, in the warm sunny south,
Boys, the south,
At home, in the warm sunny south!
>Old Cotton will pleasantly reign
When other kings painfully fall,
And ever and ever remain
The mightiest monarch of all,
Boys, of all,
The mightiest monarch of all!
Then here's to old Cotton, the king!
His true loyal subjects are we:
We'll laugh and we'll quaff and we'll sing,
A jolly old fellow is he,
Boys, is he,
A jolly old fellow is he!

Title:King Cotton.

Author:George Pope Morris


Published in:New York


Keywords:cotton, trade


Published before the American Civil War, this poem demonstrates the perception that the cotton industry’s magnitude and international reach was an all-powerful force. Whether the phrase was coined with this in mind, the use of a monarchic figure in a republic can also be seen as a provocation to British commercial sovereignty. Of course, within a year, different factions would be using cotton, or its withdrawal from the international market, to gain political ground. – SR