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You're a Grand Old Flag (arr Walters)

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George M. Cohan

George M Cohan (arr. Harold L Walters)


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General Info

Year: 1906 / 1963
Duration:
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Rubank
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Instrumentation

Full Score
D-flat Piccolo
Flute
Oboe
Bassoon
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
Timpani
Percussion

(percussion detail needed)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

You're a Grand Old Flag is an American patriotic march. The song, a spirited march written by George M. Cohan, is a tribute to the American flag. In addition to obvious references to the flag, it incorporates snippets of other popular songs, including one of his own. Cohan wrote it in 1906 for George Washington, Jr., his stage musical.

The song was first publicly performed on February 6, the play's opening night, at Herald Square Theater in New York City. You're a Grand Old Flag quickly became the first song from a musical to sell over a million copies of sheet music. The title and first lyric comes from someone Cohan once met; the Library of Congress website notes:

The original lyric for this perennial George M. Cohan favorite came, as Cohan later explained, from an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg. The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag. The man reportedly then turned to Cohan and said, "She's a grand old rag." Cohan thought it was a great line and originally named his tune You're a Grand Old Rag. So many groups and individuals objected to calling the flag a "rag," however, that he "gave 'em what they wanted" and switched words, renaming the song You're a Grand Old Flag.

In the play itself, the scene with the Civil War soldier was replicated. The soldier's comment was the lead-in to this song. Thus the first version of the chorus began, "You're a grand old rag / You're a high-flying flag". Despite Cohan's efforts to pull that version, some artists such as Billy Murray had recorded it under its original title, The Grand Old Rag, in advance of the play's opening, and copies under that title still circulate among collectors. Cohan's second attempt at writing the chorus began, "You're a grand old flag / Though you're torn to a rag".

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Belleville (Ill.) Community Band (Jackie Siddle, conductor) – 17 May 2017


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources