|The Battle of New Orleans|
Single by Johnny Horton
B-side "All for the Love of a Girl"
Released April 1959
Writer(s) Jimmy Driftwood
"The Battle of New Orleans" is a song written by Jimmy Driftwood.
The song describes the 1815 Battle of New Orleans from the perspective of an American soldier; the song tells the tale of the battle with a light tone and provides a rather comical version of what actually happened at the battle.
It has been recorded by many artists, but the singer most often associated with this song is Johnny Horton. His version scored number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 (see 1959 in music).
In Billboard magazine's rankings of the top songs in the first fifty years of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, "The Battle of New Orleans" was ranked as the twenty-eighth song overall and the number-one country music song to appear on the chart
HistoryThe melody is based on a well-known American fiddle tune "The 8th of January", which was the date of the Battle of New Orleans. Jimmy Driftwood, a school principal in Arkansas with a passion for history, set an account of the battle to this music in an attempt to get students interested in learning history.
It seemed to work, and Driftwood became well known in the region for his historical songs. He was "discovered" in the late 1950s by Don Warden, and eventually was given a recording contract by RCA, for whom he recorded 12 songs in 1958, including "The Battle of New Orleans".
"The Battle of New Orleans" is often played during North American sporting events, and is commonly heard during home games of the NHL's Calgary Flames. Original Horton 45 rpm discs of the song are now worth many times the original cost.
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Australian Singles Chart 1
U.K. Singles Chart 16