Friday, November 5, 2010

the battle of new orleans






john gale "johnny" horton
(april 30, 1925–november 5, 1960)


this rockabilly legend and louisiana hayride regular spent the last months of his life telling people he would be killed by a drunk and avoiding gigs in bars. fifty years ago his premonition came true when he was in a head-on collision on a narrow bridge in the middle of the night.

this historical ballad was his biggest hit, making it to the top of the pop (for six weeks) and country charts (for ten weeks). arkansas school principal jimmie driftwood set numerous accounts of actual events to music to get his students into history. it worked so well that his songs spread through the ozarks and eventually to music publishers. horton's version omits some of the historical details of the original song.













in 1814 we took a little trip
along with colonel jackson down the mighty mississip.
we took a little bacon and we took a little beans
and we caught the bloody british in the town of
new orleans
we fired our guns and the british kept a'comin.
there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
we fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico.

we looked down the river and we see'd the british come.
and there must have been a hundred of'em beatin' on the drum.
they stepped so high and they made the bugles ring.
we stood by our cotton bales and didn't say a thing.

we fired our guns and the british kept a'comin.
there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
we fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico.

old hickory said we could take 'em by surprise
if we didn't fire our muskets 'til we looked 'em in the eye
we held our fire 'til we see'd their faces well.
then we opened up with squirrel guns and really gave 'em ... well

we fired our guns and the british kept a'comin.
there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
we fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico.

yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
they ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico.

we fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down.
so we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
we filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind
and when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

we fired our guns and the british kept a'comin.
there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
we fired once more and they began to runnin' on
down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico.

yeah, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
and they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
they ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
down the mississippi to the gulf of mexico.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CnPv_1SVh0

2 comments:

  1. I recently ran across a somewhat perplexing cover of this song by Cornershop. The perplexing thing about it was that it was by Cornershop.

    Oh, and I'm somewhat belatedly adding this blog to the links list on 39-40.

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  2. thanks rex! that's a great list.

    i love the parody of this done on _tighten up vol. 88_ in a beatbox reggae medley with 'dueling banjos'!

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