The Girl I Left Behind Me polka

Also known as An Spailpin Fanach, As Slow Our Ship, The Bride In Camp, Brighton Camp, Buy Me A Banana, The Gal I Left Behind Me, Girl I Left Behind, Girl I Left Behind Me, The Girl I Left Behind Me March, The Girl I Left Behind, Mamma Will You Buy Me A Banana, The Pretty Little Girl I Left Behind Me, The Rambling Laborer, The Rambling Labourer, The Rambling Labourer, The Shirt I Left Behind Me, The Spalpeen Fanach, The Wandering Harvest Labourer, The Wandering Harvest Labourer, Waxie’s Dargle, The Waxie’s Dargle.

There are 46 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Girl I Left Behind Me has been added to 141 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Eleven settings

X: 1
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:g/f/|ed BA|BG E>F|G2 G/A/B/c/|d2 dg/f/|
ed BA|BG E>G|FA DE/F/|G2 G:|
|:z/A/|Bd ef|gd BG|Bd ef|g2 f>^c|
ed BA|BG E>G|FA DE/F/|G2 G:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
gf| e2dc B2A2|B2G2 E2D2|G2G2 GABc|d4 B2gf|
e2dc B2A2|B2G2 E2G2|FGA2 D2EF|G4 G2:|
|dc|B2 Bcd2ef |g2dcBAG2|Bc d2e2f2|g4 f2gf|
e2dc B2A2|B2G2 E2G2|FGA2 D2EF|G4 G2 :|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: g/f/ |ec BA | BG EF | G>A G/A/B/c/ | d>B gf/g/ |
ec BA | BE E/F/G/A/ | B/A/G/F/ EF | G2 G :|
|: e |ef gf/e/ | fB Bd|ef g/f/e/d/ | e>f gf/g/ |
ec BA | BE E/F/G/>A/ | B/A/G/F/ EF | G2 G ||
|: B/c/ |dB gf/g/ | dB ba/g/ | f/e/d/c/ B/A/G/F/ | E/G/F/A/ G :|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
M: 4/4
|: gf |edB^c dBA=c | BAGF EDEF | GFGA GABc | dedc B2 gf |
(3efg de (3Bcd Ac | BAGF EDEF | GFED EGFA | G4 G2 :|
|: BA |Bdef gfgb | agfe d2 Bd | edef gfed | (3efg af g2 fg |
(3efg de (3Bcd Ac | BAGF EDEF | GFED EGFA | G4 G2 :|
|: gf |(3efg dB (3cde cA | (3Bcd BG FDEF | GBdB cdec | (3efg (3fga gfed |
(3efg dB (3cde cA | (3Bcd BG FDEF | GFED EGFA | G4 G2 :|
|: GF |DGBd dcAB | cBGB BAFA | DGBd dcAg | (3fga gf gdBG |
DGBd dcAB | cBGB BAFA | BAGA (3Bcd FA | G4 G2 :|
|: dc |BA (3Bcd ed (3efg | (3fga gf gdBG | BA (3Bcd ed (3efg | (3fga gf g2 fg |
(3efg dB (3cde cA | (3Bcd BG FDEc | (3BdB GB (3AcA FA | G4 G2 :|
ABC
X: 5
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: g |e/d/c/B/ c/B/A/G/ | G/A/B/G/ E>F | GG G/A/B/c/ | d>c B>g |
e/d/c/B/ c/B/A/G/ | G/A/B/G/ EB/A/ | G/F/E/D/ E/G/F/A/ |G2 G :|
|: c |Bd ef | ge/d/ B>A | Bd e/g/f/g/ | e2 g>e |
e/d/c/B/ c/B/A/G/ | G/A/B/G/ EB/A/ | G/F/E/D/ E/G/F/A/ | G2 G :|
ABC
X: 6
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
g/f/ |ed c/B/A/G/ | AG E>F | GG G/A/B/c/ | d2 B(g/f/) |
ed c/B/A/G/ | AG E>G | FA DE/F/ | G2 G2 ||
GB de/f/ | gd B>G | Bd ef | g2 f(g/f/) |
ed c/B/A/G/ | AG E>G | FA DE/F/ | G2 G2 |]
ABC
X: 7
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: g/f/ |ed/c/ BA | BG ED | GG G/A/B/c/ | d2 Bg/f/ |
ed/c/ BA | BG EG | F/G/A DE/F/ | G2 G :|
| dc |BB/c/ de/f/ | gd/c/ B/A/G | B/c/d ef | g2 fg/f/ |
ed/c/ BA | BG EG | F/G/A DE/F/ | G2 G :|
ABC
X: 8
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
e |dB c/B/A/G/ | AG E(E/F/) | GG G/A/B/c/ | d2 Be |
dB c/B/A/G/ | AG E(F/G/) | FA D(E/F/) | G2 G ||
d |Bd ef | gd BG | Bd ef | g2 fg |
ed BG | B/A/G/F/ E(F/G/) | FA D(E/F/) | G2 G |]
ABC
X: 9
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
M: 4/4
|: (gf) |e(fed) B2 A2 | GABG E2 (EF) | G2 (GF) GABc | d(edc) B2 (gf) |
efed B2 A2 | GABG E2 G2 | FGA(F DE)F(A | G4) G2 :|
|: (GA) |Bde(f g2) fg | a(gfe) d2 (Bd) | ede(f af)ed | e2 f2 g2 (fg) |
efe(d .Bc)BA | GABG E(DEG) | FGA(F DE)F(A | G4) G2 :|
ABC
X: 10
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: B/d/ |ed BG | B/A/G EF | G>F GB | d2 dB/d/ |
ed BG | AG EG | F/G/A EF | G2- G :|
|: A |B/c/d ef | gd BG | B/c/d ef | g2 fg/f/ |
ed BG | B/A/G EG | F/G/A EF | G2 G :|
ABC
X: 11
T: The Girl I Left Behind Me
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|: g/f/ |ec B>A | BG E>F | G>G G/A/B/c/ | d2 dg/f/ |
ec B>A | BG E>G | FA DE/F/ | G>A G :|
|: G/A/ |Bd e>f | g>d BG/A/ | Bd ef | g2 fg/f/ |
ec BA | B>G EF/G/ | FA DE/F/ | G>A G :|
ABC

Twenty-nine comments

The Shirt I Left Behind Me (polka)

Source: Music Of Sligo by Peter Horan And Fred Finn
Transcription: gian marco pietrasanta

I’m sure this was a signature tune for a radio program in Ireland many years ago - it is more than somewhat familiar. Nice tune anyway.

Really the shirt? LOL

More commonly known as tune/ song "The Girl I Left Behind Me". However, I once saw the lyrics to a comic song to this tune about the misadventures of a farm labourer and the shirt. I am afraid I can only remember the last two lines

And I was fined 10 quid for braining that kid
In the shirt I left behind me

Anyone got the rest of the words?

A polka version of "My Mind Will Never Be Easy"?

Also known as "Brighten Camp."

Most famously played by Buggs Bunny on fife and Porky Pig on snare drum. :-)

—James

There’s an old IWW song to this tune, called "The Mysteries of A Hobo’s Life", findable under that title at mudcat. The little that’s known about the author, "T-Bone Slim", is a good story for those interested in American history. For that matter, the song itself is a good introduction to the American labor movement of the early twentieth century. And you thought this stuff was just folk music!
-Jon

Many names seem to exist for this tune - Brighton Camp, The Girl I Left Behind Me, and the original Upton-Upon-Severn Stick dance tune (before it was replaced by the eponymous tune).
Interestingly it is also mentioned in Haggard’s ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ (written in 1885) - one of the main characters whistles the tune ‘The Girl I left behind me’.

One set of lyrics:
The Black cat piddled in the white cat’s eye,
the white cat said ‘Corr Bli-mey’,
The black cat said it serves you right,
You shouldn’t have stood behind me!

Here’s a nice version……
K:G
gf|\ e2dc B2A2|B2G2 E2D2|G2G2 GABc|d4 B2gf|\
e2dc B2A2|B2G2 E2G2|FGA2 D2EF|G4 G2:| \
|dc|B2 Bcd2ef |g2dcBAG2|Bc d2e2f2|g4 f2gf|\
e2dc B2A2|B2G2 E2G2|FGA2 D2EF|G4 G2 :|

Waxies Dargle Lyrics

Says my aul wan to your aul wan
Will ye come to the waxies dargle?
Says your aul wan to my aul wan,
Sure I havent got a farthing.
Ive just been down to monto town
To see uncle mcardle
But he didnt have half a crown
For to go to the waxies dargle.

What are ye having, will ye have a pint?
Yes, Ill have a pint with you, sir,
And if one of us doesnt order soon
Well be thrown out of the boozer.

Says my aul wan to your aul wan
Will ye come to the galway races?
Says your aul wan to my aul wan,
With the price of my aul lads braces.
I went down to capel street
To the jew man moneylenders
But they wouldnt give me a couple of bob on
My aul lads suspenders.

Chorus

Says my aul wan to your aul wan
We have no beef or mutton
But if we go down to monto town
We might get a drink for nuttin
Heres a piece of good advice
I got from an aul fishmonger:
When food is scarce and you see the hearse
Youll know you have died of hunger.

(As sung by Sweeney’s Men back in the 1960s and later on by the Pogues)

The Bride in Camp

I’ve always thought that ‘Brighton Camp’ is a corruption of ‘The Bride in Camp’ hence ‘The Girl I left Behind Me’

And you thought this stuff was just folk music!

surely songs about the American organised labour movement in the 1920s, or songs like "Sixteen Tons" - about the practice of payment in company scrip against controlled debt - are just as much "folk music" as ballads about hard-done-by 17th century ploughboys or Irish banshees?

I’ve never heard "Going’ up Camborne Hill coming down" or "Away down to Lamorna" at a "trad" session outside Cornwall but they are still sung by rugby players and mining students who have never been to a folk club in their lives.

"Wild Rover" and "Black Velvet Band" tend to be scorned as the next worst thing to morris dancing, Duelling Banjos or When I’m Cleaning Windows ( for the ukulele people ) but they are undoubtedly "folk music" in the sense that folk know them..

"All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song." Louis Armstrong

No, neigh, never.

X: 1
T: Girl I Left Behind Me, The
S: "Hime’s Pocket Book for the German Flute or Violin, vol. III", 1810
N: [from Fleischmann, no. 5244]
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: GMaj
|: g/f/ |\
ec BA | BG EF | G>A G/A/B/c/ | d>B gf/g/ |
ec BA | BE E/F/G/A/ | B/A/G/F/ EF | G2 G :|
|: e |\
ef gf/e/ | fB Bd|ef g/f/e/d/ | e>f gf/g/ |
ec BA | BE E/F/G/>A/ | B/A/G/F/ EF | G2 G ||
|: B/c/ |\
dB gf/g/ | dB ba/g/ | f/e/d/c/ B/A/G/F/ | E/G/F/A/ G :|

X: 2
T: Girl I Left Behind Me, The
S: Rice-Walsh manuscript
Z: Paul Kinder
M: 2/4
L: 1/16
R: march
K: G
|: gf |\
edB^c dBA=c | BAGF EDEF | GFGA GABc | dedc B2 gf |
(3efg de (3Bcd Ac | BAGF EDEF | GFED EGFA | G4 G2 :|
|: BA |\
Bdef gfgb | agfe d2 Bd | edef gfed | (3efg af g2 fg |
(3efg de (3Bcd Ac | BAGF EDEF | GFED EGFA | G4 G2 :|
|: gf |\
(3efg dB (3cde cA | (3Bcd BG FDEF | GBdB cdec | (3efg (3fga gfed |
(3efg dB (3cde cA | (3Bcd BG FDEF | GFED EGFA | G4 G2 :|
|: GF |\
DGBd dcAB | cBGB BAFA | DGBd dcAg | (3fga gf gdBG |
DGBd dcAB | cBGB BAFA | BAGA (3Bcd FA | G4 G2 :|
|: dc |\
BA (3Bcd ed (3efg | (3fga gf gdBG | BA (3Bcd ed (3efg | (3fga gf g2 fg |
(3efg dB (3cde cA | (3Bcd BG FDEc | (3BdB GB (3AcA FA | G4 G2 :|

X: 3
T: Girl I Left Behind Me, The
S: John Carroll manuscript c. 1804-1812
B: 55.2
Z: Paul Tyler
M: 2/4
L: 1/16
K: GMaj
|: g2 |\
edcB cBAG | GABG E3 F | G2 G2 GABc | d3 c B3 g |
edcB cBAG | GABG E2 BA | GFED EGFA |G4 G2 :|
|: c2 |\
B2 d2 e2 f2 | g2 ed B3 A | B2 d2 egfg | e4 g3 e |
edcB cBAG | GABG E2 BA | GFED EGFA | G4 G2 :|

X: 4
T: Girl I Left Behind Me, The
B: "Cowboy Dances", Lloyd Shaw
L: 1/8
M: 2/4
K: GMaj
g/f/ |\
ed c/B/A/G/ | AG E>F | GG G/A/B/c/ | d2 B(g/f/) |
ed c/B/A/G/ | AG E>G | FA DE/F/ | G2 G2 ||
GB de/f/ | gd B>G | Bd ef | g2 f(g/f/) |
ed c/B/A/G/ | AG E>G | FA DE/F/ | G2 G2 |]

S: # Posted on August 21st 2007 by Freddy Frog (above)

X: 2
T: Girl I Left Behind Me, The
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: GMaj
g/f/ |\
ed/c/ BA | BG ED | GG G/A/B/c/ | d2 Bg/f/ |
ed/c/ BA | BG EG | F/G/A DE/F/ | G2 G :|
| dc |\
BB/c/ de/f/ | gd/c/ B/A/G | B/c/d ef | g2 fg/f/ |
ed/c/ BA | BG EG | F/G/A DE/F/ | G2 G :|

“The Girl I Left Behind Me” ~ more history, O’Neill

X: 7
T: Rambling Laborer, The
B: "O’Neill’s Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies", 1903, page 52, tune #299
B: Section: Airs, Songs
N: Moderate
S: F. O’Neill
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: air, song
K: GMaj
e |\
dB c/B/A/G/ | AG E(E/F/) | GG G/A/B/c/ | d2 Be |
dB c/B/A/G/ | AG E(F/G/) | FA D(E/F/) | G2 G ||
d |\
Bd ef | gd BG | Bd ef | g2 fg |
ed BG | B/A/G/F/ E(F/G/) | FA D(E/F/) | G2 G |]

X: 8
T: Spalpeen Fanach, The
B: "O’Neill’s Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems", 1907, page 167, tune #972
B: section - "Long Dances, Set Dances, Etc."
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: GMaj
|: (gf) |\
e(fed) B2 A2 | GABG E2 (EF) | G2 (GF) GABc | d(edc) B2 (gf) |
efed B2 A2 | GABG E2 G2 | FGA(F DE)F(A | G4) G2 :|
|: (GA) |\
Bde(f g2) fg | a(gfe) d2 (Bd) | ede(f af)ed | e2 f2 g2 (fg) |
efe(d .Bc)BA | GABG E(DEG) | FGA(F DE)F(A | G4) G2 :|

“Buy Me A Banana” / “Mamma Will You Buy Me a Banana”

X: 9
T: Buy Me A Banana
T: Mamma Will You Buy Me a Banana
S: Denis McMahon, Timmy O’Connor & Paudy Scully
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: GMaj
|: B/d/ |\
ed BG | B/A/G EF | G>F GB | d2 dB/d/ |
ed BG | AG EG | F/G/A EF | G2- G :|
|: A |\
B/c/d ef | gd BG | B/c/d ef | g2 fg/f/ |
ed BG | B/A/G EG | F/G/A EF | G2 G :|

X: 3 “The Girl I Left Behind Me”

S: "Hime’s Pocket Book for the German Flute or Violin, vol. III", 1810
N: [from Fleischmann, no. 5244]

X: 4 “The Girl I Left Behind Me” ~ march

R: march
S: Rice-Walsh manuscript
Z: Paul Kinder

Originally notated as M: 2/4 & L: 1/16, here changed to M: 4/4 & the standard L: 1/8

X: 5 “The Girl I Left Behind Me

S: John Carroll manuscript c. 1804-1812
B: 55.2
Z: Paul Tyler

Originally notated as M: 2/4 & L: 1/16, here changed to the site standard of L: 1/8

X: 6 “The Girl I Left Behind Me”

B: "Cowboy Dances", Lloyd Shaw

X: 8 “The Rambling Laborer” ~ O’Neill - 2/4

B: "O’Neill’s Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies", 1903, page 52, tune #299
B: Section: Airs, Songs
N: Moderate
S: F. O’Neill
R: air, song

X: 9 “The Spalpeen Fanach” ~ O’Neill - 4/4

B: "O’Neill’s Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems", 1907, page 167, tune #972
B: section - "Long Dances, Set Dances, Etc."

X: 11 “The Girl I Left Behind Me” ~ Donegal

B: "Dances of Donegal", collected by Grace Orpen, D.M. Wilkie, London, 1931
The first few pages of this book, and its first tune & dance:
"The Fairy Dance" - http://thesession.org/tunes/424

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(page 28 - music notation & dance description)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Highland (Couple Dance)
Tune: "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (2/4)

Steps - - - - - - - - - Description - - - - - - - - - Bars

Partners stand as for "Shoe the Donkey".
Two slipping steps in line of direction. (LOD = ACW) - - - 1
Two slipping steps back to place. - - - 1
Four slipping steps in line of direction. - - - 2 ~ [A 1-4]
Repeat going the other way first. - - - 4 ~ [A 5-8]
Turn partner as in "Military Two-Step". - - - 4 ~ [B 1-4]
Partners swing. - - - 4 ~ [B 5-8]


<[ NOTES: I have known this one too, but, again, without the parts of the tune repeating. I’ve given those parts and bars for the dance in brackets on the right, at the end of the movement. Also, it was never called a ‘highland’, but was recognized as a polka/polky dance… I think there has obviously been some confusion in titling of this dance. ]>

“Dances of Donegal” collected and edited by Grace Orpen, 1931 - ITMA digital copy

ITMA: Irish Traditional Music Archive/Taisce Cheol DÚchais Éireann
http://www.itma.ie/
Grace Orpen’s Local Donegal Dances, 1931
http://www.itma.ie/digitallibrary/print-collection/donegal-dances-1931
"Dances of Donegal" collected and edited by Grace Orpen, 1931
Click on ‘32 Pages’ to view them, with Grace Orpen’s ‘Figures’/illustrations…
http://www.itma.ie/digitallibrary/book/dances-of-donegal