The Battle of New Orleans Lyrics

Johnny HortonThis popular song celebrated The Battle of New Orleans in January, 1815 when General Andrew Jackson defended New Orleans against a larger British force. The lyrics portray the British soldiers as incompetent and cowardly when in reality these troops were fresh from defeating Napoleon’s army. Shortly after the treaty of Ghent ended hostilities in the United States, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February and the soldiers returned to Europe to fight against Napoleon which didn’t end until Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

Sung by Johnny Horton, the tune topped the record charts in 1959. Horton was known for his historical/populist songs, including Sink the Bismarck. His career was cut short when he died in a car accident in Texas in 1960 when he was 35-years-old.

The Battle of New Orleans
written by Jimmy Driftwood
sung by Johnny Horton
(c) 1991 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon an’ we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British at the town of New Orleans.

Refrain:
We fired our guns an’ the British kept a’comin’.
There wasn’t nigh as many as there was awhile ago.
We fired once more an’ they begin to runnin’
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

We looked down the river an’ we seed the British comin’,
There must a’been a hundred of ’em beatin’ on the drum.
They stepped so high an’ they made their bugles ring,
We stood beside our cotton bales an’didn’t say a thing.

Refrain

Ole Hickory said we could take ’em by surprise,
If we didn’t fire our muskets ’til we looked ’em in the eyes.
We held our fire ’til we seed their faces well,
Then we opened up our squirrel guns an’ really gave ’em …well!

Refrain

Yeah, they ran through the briars an’ they ran through the brambles
An’ they ran through the bushes where the rabbits 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 an’ we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls an’ powdered his behind,
An’ when they touched the powder off, the ‘gator lost his mind.

Refrain

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