Monday, December 30, 2013

Music Monday ~ THE 14s

It'll soon be 2014. As that thought occurred, for some reason a line from an old song popped into my head:
In 1814 we took a little trip.....
(the rest of the verse goes)
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.

That's the first verse of The Battle of New Orleans, a song about a battle in the War of 1812, composed by Jimmy Driftwood, a high school principal and history teacher from Arkansas. He often wrote songs to help students learn about historical events. The song was recorded, originally, by Johnny Horton in 1959. It won a 1959 Grammy for Song of the Year for its composer, and Best Country and Western Performance for Johnny Horton.

In Britain, skiffle star Lonnie Donegan recorded the song, it rose to number two in the UK hit parade. The original version of the song had been banned by the BBC, but Donegan's version was allowed after modification of certain words in the lyrics, for example "bloody" became "bloomin'. Donegan's modified lyrics also contained an error, whether deliberate or accidental isn't known. Instead of "Colonel Jackson" in the first verse he sings "along with Colonel Pakenham", which makes no sense because Pakenham was the British commander. 1814 a battle raged. In 1914, too, an even bigger battle began: The Great War of 1914-1918. A song to represent that dreadful conflagration?
How about Keep the Home Fires Burning('til the Boys Come Home), composed in 1914 by Ivor Novello with words by Lena Gilbert Ford.

We must hope, fervently, that 2014 will break the "14" pattern and hold no horrendous unpleasantnesses about which a song would need to be written.

Something more calming, composed by Luiz Bonfa: The Gentle Rain:


mike said...

Well, Twilight, there are many songs about the Afghanistan, Iraq, and terror wars...all three will seep and bleed into 2014:

There are some that aren't on the list. I know the group Three Doors Down has "Citizen Soldier ft. The National Guard" and is very popular:

There are a number of class war songs out there. Garrison Keillor's "Class Warfare Song" is one of the more polite and less profane:

Twilight said...

mike ~ In these days of ongoing militarism there'll always be some songs about it, both for and against - and as you say those songs will bleed into 2014. Let's hope that no new conflagration or extension of an old one will occur
in 2014.

I love the Garrison Keillor song! LOL'd at a commenter at youTube calling him "an anti-american commie bastard" -
Ye gods, there's nobody in the USA less likely than Keillor to merit that title! If I didn't laugh I'd cry - as the saying goes.

mike (again) said...

Re: Garrison Keillor commenter

Maybe that commenter was Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty".

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Groan! I haven't read any of the stuff on Duck D. but have seen the headlines and photographs - they've been hard to miss!
All part of the grubby underbelly of the nation I suppose. :-/