Bonaparte’s Retreat march

Also known as Bonaparte’s Defeat, Bonaparte’s Retreat, The Retreat Set Dance, The Retreat.

There are 28 recordings of this tune.

Bonaparte’s Retreat appears in 3 other tune collections.

Bonaparte’s Retreat has been added to 1 tune set.

Bonaparte's Retreat has been added to 132 tunebooks.

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Seven settings

1
X: 1
T: Bonaparte's Retreat
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfa gfde|fdcA (3BAG (3cAF|
DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfd cAFG|1 AGGF G2 (3GFE:|2 AGGF G2de||
|:fefg f2 (3def|gfga gfde|fgag fdcA|(3GFG AF GFED|
f2fg f2 (3def|gfga g2fg|agbg ag (3fga|g2 (3agf g2fg|
agbg agfd|f2fa gfde|fgag fdcA|(3GFG AF GFDC|
DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfa gfde|fdcA BGAF|
DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfd cAFG|1 (3ABA GF G2de:|2 (3ABA GF G2 (3GFE||
2
X: 2
T: Bonaparte's Retreat
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
DGGF GBAG|FGAd f2 fg|agfa gfeg|fdcA BGAF|
DGGF GBAG|FGAd f2 fg|agfd cAGF|A2 G2 G2:|
fefg f2 df|gfga g2 de|fefg afge|gdcA BGAF|
fefg f2 df|gfga g2 fg|abag fgaf|gfga g2 fg|
a2 ab agfd|f2 fa gfed|fefg afge|fdcA BGAF|
DGGF GBAG|FGAd f2 fg|agfa gfeg|fdcA BGAF|
DGGF GBAG|FGAd f2 fg|agfd cAGF|A2 G2 G2:|
3
X: 3
T: Bonaparte's Retreat
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:G>F|D>GG>F G>BA>G|F>Ad>e f>ef>g|a>gf>a g>fd>e|(3fed c>A B>GA>F|
D>GG>F G>BA>G|F>Ad>e f>ef>g|a>g (3fed c>AF>G|A2 G2 G2:|
|:d>e|f>ef>g f2 e>f|g>fg>a g2 d>e|f>ef>g a>ba>g|(3fed c>A B>G G2|
f>ef>g f2 e>f|g>fg>a g2 f>g|a>ba>g f>ga>f|b>ga>f g2 f>g|
a>ba>g f>ga>f|b>ga>f g2 f>e|d>Bd>e f>de>d|d>cA>F G>BA>G|
D>GG>F G>BA>G|F>Ad>e f>ef>g|a>gf>a g>fd>e|(3fed c>A B>GA>F|
D>GG>F G>BA>G|F>Ad>e f>ef>g|a>g (3fed c>AF>G|A2 G2 G2:|
4
X: 4
T: Bonaparte's Retreat
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfa gfde|fdcA dBcA|
DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfd cAFG|AGGF G2:|
|:de|fefg f2 (3def|gfga g2 de|fefg afge|fdcA dBcA|
fefg f2 (3def|gfga g2 fg|abag fgaf|g3a g2 fg|
a2 ab agfd|fefa gfde|fefg afge|fdcA dBcA|
DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfa gfde|fdcA dBcA|
DGGF GBAG|FAde fefg|agfd cAFG|AGGF G2||
# Added by JACKB .
5
X: 5
T: Bonaparte's Retreat
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Amaj
|:AG|EAAG AcBA|GABc d2 ef|gfge dcBd|cABA GEED|
EAAG AcBA|GABc d2 ef|gfge edBG|A2 AA A2:|
|:ef|gfge agae|gfge dcBd|c2 cB A2 GA|BcBA GEED|
EAAG AcBA|GABc d2 ef|gfge edBG|A2 AA A2:|
6
X: 6
T: Bonaparte's Retreat
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:DC|A,DDE FEDC|DEGA c3d|edcB cABG|AGFE FDEC|
A,DDE FEDC|DEGA cBcd|edcA GECD|E2D2D2:|
|:AB|cBcB cdcA|dcde dfed|cBcd cABG|AGFE FDEC|
cBcB cdcA|dcde defg|afge fdec|Adce d2de|
fefg fedf|edef edcA|dfed cABG|AGFE FDEC|
A,DDE FEDC|DEGA c3d|edcB cABG|AGFE FDEC|
A,DDE FEDC|DEGA cBcd|edcA GECD|E2D2D2:|
7
X: 7
T: Bonaparte's Retreat
R: march
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:B,2|B,EEF GFED|EFAB dcde|fedc dB=cA|BGAF GE=FD|
B,EEF GFED|EFAB dcde|fedB AFDF|E2EFE2:|
|:Bc|dcde d2 (3Bcd|e^def e2Bc|dcde d2A=c|BGAF GEE2|
dcde d2 (3Bcd|e^def e2ef|gfeg fe^df|e2ef e2ef|
gfga gfeg|fefg fedf|dcde d2A=c|BAGF GE=FD|
B,EEF GFED|EFAB dcde|fedc dB=cA|BGAF GE=FD|
B,EEF GFED|EFAB dcde|fedB AFDF|E2EFE2:|

Eleven comments

Bonapart’s retreat

Although listed as a reel, this tune is in fact a set dance.
I believe at least part of it is played (by Brendan Gleeson?) in the film "Cold Mountain", which is set in the American Civil War.
This version submitted is from Henrik Norbeck’s collection.
Trevor

Bonaparte’s Retreat

I can confirm that Brendan Gleeson played it. The well-known actor (Gangs of New York etc) got the part because he let it be known he could "scratch about on the fiddle". In fact, he has been playing the fiddle since he was 17, and researched the music for the film in some detail. For more info do a Google search on "Brendan Gleeson" AND fiddle.
Trevor

Bonaparte’s Retreat - Brendan Gleeson

As far as I can remember, Brendan Gleeson is the only film actor I have seen who can play the fiddle/violin well enough to perform live on screen (as opposed to real musicians who have a walk-on part as themselves). What you usually see in a film is an actor who obviously can’t play, or even knows how to hold the instrument and bow convincingly, "miming" to the sound of a pro violinist off screen.
Trevor

The tune was also used then as a fife march as well as a folk dance tune during the CW

Roche II, page 33, tune #280 ~ "Bonaparte’s Retreat"

"The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music, Volume II", 1912

Set Dances ~ pages 28 - 34

X: 280
T: Bonaparte’s Retreat
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: set dance
K: Gmaj
|: GF |\
DGGF GBAG | FGAd f2 fg | agfa gfeg | fdcA BGAF |
DGGF GBAG | FGAd f2 fg | agfd cAGF | A2 G2 G2 :|
|: de |\
fefg f2 df | gfga g2 de | fefg afge | gdcA BGAF |
fefg f2 df | gfga g2 fg | abag fgaf | gfga g2 fg |
a2 ab agfd | f2 fa gfed | fefg afge | fdcA BGAF |
DGGF GBAG | FGAd f2 fg | agfa gfeg | fdcA BGAF |
DGGF GBAG | FGAd f2 fg | agfd cAGF | A2 G2 G2 :|

Version 3

From the concertina playing of Bernard O’Sullivan and Tommy McMahon. Slightly swingy, between a hornpipe and reel, but definitely a set dance.

Bonaparte’s Retreat, X:5

Here’s the A major hornpipe setting labeled "Bonaparte’s Defeat" in O’Neill’s (tune #902 in the 1001), with grace notes and dotting trimmed out. There’s also a set dance setting in D, #980, which I’ll post shortly.

Bonaparte’s Retreat, X:7

Here’s the setting from O’Neill’s 1850, #1789. It’s notated there in E minor, but most of the Cs are sharpened so I’ve switched it to dorian to simplify the setting (and removed the dotting).