In the premier volume of our AMERICAN FRONTIER SUITES series, we bring you five tunes popular in the American Colonies during the years of the Revolutionary War:
- The Girl I Left Behind me (1758?)
- Free America (mid-1600’s?) (taken from “The British Grenadiers”)
- Barbara Allen (pre-1665)
- Yankee Doodle (pre-1770)
- Chester (William Billings, 1778)
Almost all of these tunes are still recognizable today, in the twenty-first century.
Here is the Mississippi Community Symphonic Band performing this suite on May 17, 2008.
If you like, here are some program notes you can use:
In Volume 1 of his American Frontier Suites, The REVOLUTIONARIES, arranger David Miller brings us five tunes popular in late 1700’s America.
The first three of these tunes were originally British traditional tunes, adopted by the Americans for their own use.
The suite opens with the lively marching tune, The Girl I Left Behind Me, adopted from England’s “Brighton Camp” dating from about 1758. The next tune the American patriots borrowed was the famous “British Grenadiers” marching song, renaming it Free America and using it as a rallying song for the revolution, with new words written by Joseph Warren.
The haunting melody Barbara Allen was often sung in pubs and inns of the day as well.
The suite concludes with two tunes of distinctly American origin, the sprightly Yankee Doodle and one of the most famous patriotic songs of that era, William Billings’ 1778 song, Chester.
Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy with us now Volume 1 of David Miller’s American Frontier Suite series: THE REVOLUTIONARIES.
Order this suite for your next concert Today.