Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And the White House burned, burned, burned!

Anything on the heels of the last post is bound to be flippant. So it goes.

So why not go the full flippant? I finally came across a youtube clip of the Canadian song about 1812 that Gary Brecher referenced in his series of posts on the War of 1812.

To fully appreciate it, you need to know the original 'Battle of New Orleans', by Jimmy Driftwood (although I grew up with the Johnnie Horton version), celebrating the American victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

Anyway, let's just say that the Canadians focus on some of the more neglected bits of the war. Without further ado, 'The War of 1812, by 'Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie' (safe for work, despite the strange band name):

Comedy gold!

The real humor is not actually any disagreement on the events of the war, but on how you choose to label the belligerents. From the American perspective, they were fighting the British, and it's respectable to take a bit of a beating from them, even getting your capital burned down, because the Brits were, after all, the major superpower at the time.

But from the Canadian perspective, the Americans invaded Canada, and were repelled by Canadians. As such, it was Canada beating America, which suddenly sounds a lot funnier. America lost to Canada? Really? You can seen why the Americans aren't keen to remember that part of the tale.

Of course, the distinction is entirely a modern one. What was invaded was British North America, which later became Canada, but at the time was part of the British Empire.

As long as you understand both views, I find it funnier to describe them as fighting the Canadians, because the failed invasion of Canada is one the more farcical bits of North American history. Although nothing beats the Fenian Raids. Now that was ridiculous!

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