Johnny Horton performs “The battle of New Orleans”

The song reached number one on country, American, Canadian and Australian charts, and also number one on pop charts. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

YouTube - Billscustomsounds William Merz Channel
YouTube - Billscustomsounds William Merz Channel
Jimmy Driftwood - THe battle of New Orleans (Single)
Jimmy Driftwood – THe battle of New Orleans (Single)

The song was written by Jimmy Driftwood, at the end of the 50s, Jimmy was a high school principal in Arkansas, and a history teacher, he loved to sing, and for his students to learn and have fun, he wrote songs with facts that happened in history. So came the song of, the battle of New Orleans, The melody is based on the well-known American song “The 8th of January”, which was the date of the Battle of New Orleans . Jimmy wrote several songs, about the history of USA, became famous in the area, until he was discovered by Don Warden, was an American steel guitarist and manager, offered him a contract with RCA, where at the end of 1958 he recorded 12 songs, including The battle of New Orleans. We could say that it is a song with history in country music, which tells part of the history of the USA. The song explains the battle between the British troops attacking the city of New Orleans, which was defended by the American troops, in the 2036 British soldiers died, for only 71 American casualties, and American troops were commanded by Andrew Jackson, the future president of the USA.

Johnny Horton - THe battle of New Orleans (Single)
Johnny Horton – THe battle of New Orleans (Single)

But as we all know, Johnny Horton (born April 30, 1925 in Los Angeles, California and Died November 5, 1960 near Milano, Texas.) Was the one who made the song famous. The song was recorded in 1959, and went on lists in April of the same year, for the Columbia label, and produced by Don Law.The song reached number one on country, American, Canadian and Australian charts, and also number one on pop charts. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. The song was included in Johnny Horton’s first album, The Spectacular Johnny Horton (Columbia 1959).



Johnny Horton - THe battle of New Orleans (cover)
Johnny Horton – THe battle of New Orleans (cover)

Some versions :

Jimmie Driftwood 1957 ( RCA )
Johnny Horton 1959 ( Columbia )
The Webb Brothers 1959 ( Festival Records )
Vaughn Monroe 1959 ( RCA )
The Jordanieres 1962 ( Capitol Records )
Johnny Cash July 1972
Eddie Arnold 1973 ( RCA )
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1974 ( Unaited Artits )
Hoyt Axton 1980 ( Jeremiah Records )
George Canyon 2007 ( Universal )
River City Ramblers 2007





Johnny Horton – The Battle Of New Orleans Lyrics

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 seen the British come
And there must have been a hunnerd of ’em beatin on the drum
They stepped so high and they made their bugles ring
We stood beside our cotton bales ‘n’ 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 till we looked ’em in the eye
We held our fire ’till we seed their faces well
Then we opened up the 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
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

We fired our cannon till the barrel melted down
So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round
We filled his head with cannonballs and powered 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
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Hup, 2, 3, 4
Sound off, 3, 4
Hup, 2, 3, 4
Sound off, 3, 4
Hup, 2, 3, 4
Sound off, 3, 4

The Spectacular Johnny Horton (Columbia 1959)
The Spectacular Johnny Horton (Columbia 1959)

Miquel Batlle
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com