|"The Battle of New Orleans"|
|Single by Johnny Horton|
|B-side||"All for the Love of a Girl"|
"The Battle of New Orleans" is the name of a song written by Jimmie Driftwood. The song details the 1815 Battle of New Orleans from the perspective of an American fighting alongside Andrew Jackson against British forces, but the tone is lighthearted. It has been recorded by many artists, but the one most often associated with this song is Johnny Horton. His version topped 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 song to appear on the chart.
The melody has its roots in a well-known American fiddle tune "The 8th of January", which was the date of the Battle of New Orleans. Jimmie Driftwood, a school principal in Arkansas with a passion for history, set a historical account of the battle to this music in an attempt to get students interested in learning history. It worked, and Driftwood became well known in the region for his historical songs. He was "discovered" in the late 1950s by Don Warden, and eventually signed to a recording contract by RCA, for whom he recorded 12 songs in 1958, including "The Battle of New Orleans".
As noted, Johnny Horton's 1959 version is the best-known recording of the song. Horton also recorded an alternative version for release in British Commonwealth countries which had more favourable lyrics toward the British. The word "British" was replaced with "Rebels" along with a few other differences.
Many other artists have recorded this song. Notable versions include the following:
|"The Battle of Kookamonga"|
|Single by Homer and Jethro|
|from the album Homer and Jethro at the Country Club|
|Writer(s)||Jimmie Driftwood, J. J. Reynolds|
Country parodists Homer and Jethro had a hit when they parodied "The Battle of New Orleans" with their song "The Battle of Kookamonga." The single was released in 1959 and featured production work by Chet Atkins. In this version, the scene shifts from a battleground to a campground, with the combat being changed to the Boy Scouts chasing after the Girl Scouts.
"Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one single (Johnny Horton
May 26, 1959 – July 6, 1959 (6 weeks)
"Lonely Boy" by Paul Anka
"White Lightning" by George Jones
number one single by Johnny Horton
May 18, 1959 - July 20, 1959
"Waterloo" by Stonewall Jackson
"Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu)" by Domenico Modugno
|Billboard Hot 100 number-one
single of the year
"Theme from A Summer Place" by Percy Faith
Redirecting to The Battle of New Orleans