Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Battle of New Orleans

There are many things about my family that are difficult to explain.

For example, all the boys in my family think they can dance the Irish jig. None of us took lessons, or studied other dancers.

No, we were born with the name Gaffney, and with that birthright is the natural ability to move our feet in astoundingly beautiful patterns any time a tune with a fiddle is played.

All of us believe in our heart of hearts that we are able to perform the Irish jig.

Not a one of us can. We can’t even come close (there is video evidence of Chris and Mike proving my point to a hilariously embarrassing degree).

Of course the fact that we can’t dance the jig changes nothing; we still hear the music and our minds picture our feet doing amazing things.

Us boys also have an unusual attraction to the song “The Battle of New Orleans” (fought on this day in 1814). It is a great song, created by a school teacher as a history lesson. This ditty actually won a Grammy for Johnny Horton. It goes, in part, a little like this:

Well, in eighteen and fourteen 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 near the town of New Orleans.

Well, we fired our cannon til the barrel melted down,
so we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls and powdered his behind,
and when they tetched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin,
But there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin'
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

And lest you think this song was an odd segue, all the Gaffney boys are convinced that they have exquisite taste when it comes to the arts…

Just my thoughts,


1 comment:

aliceb said...

Our lives keep crossing and intertwining in ever more bizarre ways. Joel who will always be to me Shakma the Clown of Love is now a writing partner of yours, My friend Mike the Juggler is now your friend Mike Rayner, and now this. It's too much to take. Growing up we drove across the country several times & my dad got us tapes of music from the Fabulous '50's. Johnny Horton is a particular favorite and Battle of New Orleans can be sung by every member of our clan as can 'North to Alaska! Go North, the rush is on...'