Born in colonial times, this man whose face graces some United States currency never met his father and lost his mother at age 14. Orphaned, he studied law, ascended in politics and became one of the most influential figures in the early decades of American history. He even competed in a duel—and won.
That’s pretty compelling stuff. Someone should write a play about the life and times of President Andrew Jackson. No, a musical! If only there were some way to inspire a Tony-winning playwright to take on the project. Does anyone even know if Lin-Manuel Miranda has read American Lion, the Jackson biography by Jon Meacham?
In hopes of whetting Miranda’s appetite, we took a stab at the title song for Jackson, below. He is welcome to edit the lyrics as he sees fit, but he also has the right to remain silent, as anyone named Miranda surely knows.
How does a fatherless, orphan, son of Irish immigrants
Dropped in the middle of a disputed spot in the Carolina wilderness
Overcome deadly disease that left his skin warty
Grow up to be the founder of the Democratic Party?
The $20 brother without brothers
Remains a Southern favorite son
With a denomination double that of Alex Hamilton
He got a lot farther by being a lot smarter by taking Florida
By 14, he’d overcome smallpox and a dose of British scorn
While losing closest family members left and right since he was born
Andrew Sr. died by accident, mama Liz while nursing the ill,
But even after orphanhood, grim reaper had no chill,
Brother Hugh fell in battle, the other, Robert, to starvation,
Young Hickory looked around said gotta stop this devastation
Gonna end this stagnation gotta be a sensation
I’ll earn myself a law degree and pillage Cherokee nation
Then the word got around Andrew’s girlfriend is a bride
Even in Tennessee bigamy is career suicide
Suffered some indignity, name dragged through mud
Proposed a duel and shot his rival in cold blood
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Now he’s winning wars in every land with a temper you can’t tame
He’s lighting up the Injuns as he rises up to fame
Creeks and the Chickasaw they cannot make a claim,
And the world is gonna know your name,
What’s your name, man?
My name is Andrew Jackson,
There’s not a battle that I haven’t won,
Just you hate, just you hate
Now we’re in the 19th century, must erase a blight
Andrew’s removing Indians to his left and to his right
Some surrender peacefully, and some put up a fight
But they’re all gonna know his might
Congressman, senator, major general too
Is there anything our little orphaned Andy cannot do?
How about the White House? The people vote him through:
They did so for him three times, but he was only elected two (damn Electoral College)
Now he’s back at Hermitage, where slaves are all about,
A legacy of greatness, an equal he’s without
Then Jackson utters final words while rapping on death’s door:
“I only wish I’d been alive to stop the Civil War.”
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