—— folk family and jam


Santianno won the day, heave away Santianno
Santianno Won the day all around the plains of Mexico
So heave her up and away we'll go
Heave her up and away we'll go
All round the plains of Mexico

Santianno won the day
General Taylor ran away

Oh Santianno's men were true and brave
Many found a soldier's grave
All round the plains of Mexico

Twas on the plains of Monterey
Santianno lost a leg that day

Now Santianno's day is o'er
Santianno will fight no more

He slipped his cable off Cape Horn
Close to the place where he was born

Santianno won the day
Won the day at Monterey

From    Dave

This is about the Mexican Texan war.  The history may be a little confused.
As A.L.Lloyd writes: "Antonio Lopez de Santa Aña, far from “gaining the day” as this pump or capstan shanty suggests, was defeated by General Taylor at Buena Vista in February 1847, in one of the decisive battles of the war between Mexico and the United States. Many British sailors deserted their ships to join Santa Aña's army, and perhaps it was affection for the Mexican seaports that made the shanty singers reverse the run of history in their songs".
Santy Ano (and other versions of the name) turn up all over the place in sea shanties and stuff.  His first heroic deed was repulsing the Spanish who were trying to prevent Mexican independence.
A colourful (is the diplomatic way of putting it) career; he was president a number of times.  Was victorious at El Alamo, responsible for a later massacre of Texan prisoners.  And was then beaten and captured (while president) by Gen Houston; Texan independnce (from Mexico) was assured.
He did lose a leg, but that was in Mexico fighting (and losing) to the French.
It was later, 1846-7, in border disputes between Texas and America that the conflict with Taylor took place. He thought to take advantage of President Polk's deliberate weakening of Taylor's position; and had some initial success - but eventually had to retreat.

Reading of his career, it is difficult to see him as anything but an opportunist greedy politician / general.  But that is real life for you - boring.