This song is based on Joshua Norton -- I had wanted to write a lyric about him for some time, and I'm quite pleased with this one. Ron Tintner
, the composer, understood exactly what the lyric needed and provided a Brazilian rhythm and a "world music" feel.
You should look Joshua Norton up on Wikipedia and elsewhere, but listen to the song first :-)
Norton is known as being the first (and only) Emperor of the United States. He declared himself so, and the citizens of San Francisco were so tickled by having the Emperor live in their city, they went along with him. It's a fascinating story -- when Norton died, there was a huge funeral procession through the city. His grave, provided for by the city, notes his title of Emperor.
The song is based stylistically on "You Can Call Me Al" -- a loosely spoken/sung verse and a rousing chorus, with a lot of images flying by.