You're a Grand Old Flag
George M Cohan (arr. Cofield)
Year: 1906 / 1962
Duration: c. 2:20
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print
For availability information, see Discussion area, above.
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
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III
(percussion detail desired)
None discovered thus far.
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
(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Carlos Gama, Jr., conductor) - 27 June 2017
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Broadway Salute (arr. Foster) (1972)
- Cohan Salute (arr. Moffit) (1972)
- Cohan Salute, A (arr. Ades) (1983)
- Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway
- George M. Cohan Patriotic Fantasy (arr. Yoder) (1959)
- Give My Regards to Broadway (arr. Yoder) (1904/1954)
- Little Nellie Kelly (arr. Brockton) (1922)
- Over There March (arr. Lamb) (1917/2017)
- A Patriotic Salute (arr. O'Reilly and Albrecht) (1999)
- Star Spangled Spectacular (arr. Cacavas) (1962)
- A Touch of Cohan (arr. Applebaum) (2002)
- Yankee Doodle Boy
- You're a Grand Old Flag (arr. Cofield) (1906/1962)
- You're a Grand Old Flag (arr. Nowak) (1906/1990)
- You're a Grand Old Flag (arr. Walters) (1906/1963)
- Cohan, G.; Cofield, F. (1962). You're a Grand Old Flag [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc.
- You're a Grand Old Flag, Wikipedia