Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday morning tunes: Presidents day

Our seventh president, Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson, was famous for a number of things: Challenging the plutocrats who were already cozying up to American legislators by 1828; dismantling the National Bank, on much the same logic; and (lest you fear Old Hickory was a little too much “of the people”) forcibly relocating most of the native American tribes in the South to somewhere across the Mississippi.

But the line on his resume that amuses me the most is that he decisively defeated the British at New Orleans -- about two weeks after the Treaty of Ghent had already ended the War of 1812. (Did I mention that Twitter had not been invented yet?)

And for all of you who learned “how a bill becomes law” from Schoolhouse Rock: Chances are pretty good that your parents learned a lot of what they know about American history from Johnny Horton (who also recorded “Johnny Reb,” “Sink the Bismark,” and “North to Alaska,” among others).

From 1959, here's the Grammy-winning “Battle of New Orleans,” written by Jimmy Driftwood and performed by Horton:

If your browser won't display the embedded version, click here.

No comments: