Ode to Emperor Norton I

I need to re-record the Cello and use it as a bass – no bowing and use a high pass filter to get rid of the low frequency boom.

Born in Kent
Of London town
San Francisco's
Royal Clown

Colorful 9er
Wealthy man
Lost all he had

Made decrees
Rattled a sabre
Gentle sort
Beloved neighbor

Some say mad
Some say smart
Played his part

Had a vision
Tunnel and bridge
Other things
Seemed unhinged

Eccentric yes
Crazy no
Endearing man
Fantastic show

Emperor Norton
League of Nations
Brilliant designer

in a nutshell

  • Emperor Norton I is a beloved San Francisco legend
  • He earned and lost a fortune gambling on the price of rice
  • He was eccentric, not sure if was crazy
  • He had several ideas way ahead of his time like The League of Nations and the Bay Bridge


Everyone has probably heard the story of Emperor Norton I. I’m curious as to why he didn’t get back into business. He did enjoy life in SF as a celebrity. Maybe he had a breakdown or just enjoyed his “act”?

I didn’t sing the chorus – it didn’t fit as well as I had expected. I’ll keep trying to sing – maybe even take lessons. I’m finding that even just “roughing it out” with my vocals I get a better idea of how to arrange and orchestrate the song. In my dreams, someone would take my songs and play them live.


San Francisco Legends


The more I research eccentrics, the more I love them. They are the most human of humans in my book. Let your freak flag fly!

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