Fantasy on an Early American Marching Tune

From Wind Repertory Project
Robert Sheldon

Robert Sheldon

Subtitle: The Girl I Left Behind Me

This work bears the designation Opus 125.

General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 3:15
Difficulty: II-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Music Publishers
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $58.00; (digital) - $58.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Trombone I-II
Percussion (6 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Mark Tree
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Written for the Lake George [N.Y.] Community Band, Fantasy on an Early American Marching Tune is based on the popular fife and drum melody, The Girl I Left Behind Me. All melodies and countermelodies in the piece are drawn from this well-known theme, although they are sometimes altered and re-worked to create new musical material.

This particular melody was chosen for the piece because of its popularity during the French and Indian War (1754-1760), which played a significant part in the history of Lake George, New York. Much folklore has arisen regarding this tune. One source states the tune was popular as far back as Queen Elizabeth's (Elizabeth I) reign and was played whenever a regiment left town or a man-of-war set sail. The tune was known in America as early as 1650 and indicates it was a traditional fife tune, important [sic] from England as Brighten Camp. The tune became generally popular during the American Revolution. In Ireland it was known as The Rambling Laborer and The Spalpin Fanach, and was first published in Dublin in 1791.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: III
  • Maryland: III
  • North Carolina: III
  • South Carolina: III
  • Texas: III. Complete


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

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  • Perusal score
  • Robert Sheldon website Accessed 3 September 2021
  • Sheldon, R. (2008). Fantasy on an Early American Marching Tune: [The Girl I Left Behind Me] [score]. Alfred: [Van Nuys, Calif.]