Road To Boston polka

Also known as Boston March, The Boston March, Kentish Guard’s March, The Kentish Guard’s March, The Kentish Guards March, The London March, Nathanael Greene’s March, On The Road To Boston, The Road To Boston, Road To London, The Road To London.

There are 7 recordings of a tune by this name.

Road To Boston has been added to 3 tune sets.

Road To Boston has been added to 81 tunebooks.

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Seven settings

X: 1
T: Road To Boston
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|:f4 f2 ef|g2 f2 e2 d2|c2 d2 e2 f2|d2 A2 F2 A2|
f4 f2 ef|g2 f2 e2 d2|c2 d2 e2 f2|d4 d4:|
|:a4 a2 ga|b2 a2 g2 f2|g4 g2 fg|a2 g2 f2 e2|
f4 f2 ef|g2 f2 e2 d2|c2 d2 e2 f2|d4 d4:|
X: 2
T: Road To Boston
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f2 f e/f/ | gf ed | c>d ef | dA F/G/A |
f2 f e/f/ | g/a/g/f/ ed | cd ef |1 dA :|2 de ||
a2 a^g/a/ | ba gf | g2 g f/g/ | ag fe |
f2 f e/f/ | gf ed | cd e>f | de fg |
aA a^g/a/ | b/c'/b/a/ gf | gA gf/g/ | a/b/a/g/ fe |
fA fe/f/ | g/a/g/f/ ed | cd ec | d2 ||
X: 3
T: Road To Boston
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd e/f/e/c/ | dA FA |
f3 e/f/ | gf e/f/e/d/ | cd ec | d>A :|
a3 ^g/a/ | ba g/a/g/f/ | g3 f/g/ | ag gf/e/ |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cA e/d/c | d2 :|
X: 4
T: Road To Boston
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f2 fe/f/ | g>f ed | cd e>f | d/c/B/A/ FA | ~
X: 5
T: Road To Boston
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | dA FA |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef |d2 d2 :|
|: a2 ag/a/ | ba gf | g2 gf/g/ | ag fe |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | d2 d2 :|
|: f4 f2 ef | g2 f2 e2 d2 | c2 d2 e2 f2 | d2 A2 F2 A2 |
f4 f2 ef | g2 f2 e2 d2 | c2 d2 e2 f2 | d4 d4 :|
|: a4 a2 ga | b2 a2 g2 f2 | g4 g2 fg | a2 g2 f2 e2 |
f4 f2 ef | g2 f2 e2 d2 | c2 d2 e2 f2 | d4 d4 :|
X: 6
T: Road To Boston
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | dA FA |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef |d2 d2 :|
|: a2 ag/a/ | ba gf | g2 gf/g/ | ag fe |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | d2 d2 :|
X: 7
T: Road To Boston
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: A | dA dc/d/ | ed cd | EF Gd | fe de/c/ |
dA dc/d/ | ed cd | EF GA | F2 F :|
|: f | f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | ec ed/e/ | fe dc |
dA dc/d/ | ed cd | EF G A/G/ | F2 F :|
# Added by fife .

Twenty-nine comments

Good Tune

I was thinking about posting this one ! Also known as march… but makes a great fiddle hoedown…

D Major

This is definitely in the key of D Major, not B minor, although you could play Bm chords as substitutions.

“Road to Boston” ~ yup!, like the lad said, D Major…

R: polka / playparty tune
K: D Major (& also played in C, G & A)
|: de |
f2 f e/f/ | gf ed | c>d ef | dA F/G/A |
f2 f e/f/ | g/a/g/f/ ed | cd ef |1 dA :|2 de ||
fg |
a2 a^g/a/ | ba gf | g2 g f/g/ | ag fe |
f2 f e/f/ | gf ed | cd e>f | de fg |
aA a^g/a/ | b/c’/b/a/ gf | gA gf/g/ | a/b/a/g/ fe |
fA fe/f/ | g/a/g/f/ ed | cd ec | d2 ||

This is a great old tune. It was used for playparty games, movement to music and song. This and "Buffalo Gals" were both used that way, both have lyrics, a kind of safe ‘dance’ for the young. The game ‘Musical Chairs’ is also a member of the species ~ ‘playparty’…

Oh yes, forgot to add ~ it is also a tune used for New England contra dancing, good fun…

“Road to Boston” ~ a bit more:

K: D Major
|: d/e/ |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd e/f/e/c/ | dA FA |
f3 e/f/ | gf e/f/e/d/ | cd ec | d>A :|
|: f/g/ |
a3 ^g/a/ | ba g/a/g/f/ | g3 f/g/ | ag gf/e/ |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cA e/d/c | d2 :|

Oh yeah, MH or one of our other fifers on site will likely know and may even have an old transcription to add from one of the early fife collections as this is also a fife march…

Paging celtic_lass1 ~ Paging celtic_lass1 ~

Alright, I’m assuming you care about this tune or you wouldn’t have made the effort to post it. Please, please, please tell us something about your association and times with this melody. :-) And while you’re at it, only you can correct the key signature, no one else, and Jeremy won’t either. I hope to return here and see a personal note of your appreciation for this old number…

Fife

Just to clear it up, Im not a fifer… but I love the fife and drum bands… and the tunes…so many great tunes come from that tradition into the fiddling tradition and vie versa.

Alright, fife music & fife and drum band lover ~ not fifer… I have four fifes and a couple of tabor pipes in this house, but don’t tell anyone… ;-)

What about a transcription from one of your old fife tune collections MH?

Arrangement….

I don’t know of an arrangement much different than whats already here except on the fiddle I play bar 4 as

|dcBA F2A2|

We used to too, sometimes ~

K: D Major
|: d/e/ |
f2 fe/f/ | g>f ed | cd e>f | d/c/B/A/ FA | ~

Aka “Nathanael Greene’s March”

Nathanael Greene was one of Washington’s Generals in the American War for Independence, and was also one of the founding members of the Kentish Guards Rhode Island Militia in 1774, a currently active unit to which I belong. This was a tune which NG himself apparently favored, and encouraged his field music to play to urge his troops along. I can’t find an early reference for this — let me contact one of my F&D cronies.

Hey, FyfferGuy, I was wondering where you got to… I’m rubbing my hands in anticipation of an early take on this…and as a march…

Sorry I didn’t leave a comment earlier.
Being from Maine, fiddling and dancing are part of our heritage. A few years ago, I used to to fiddle workshops and summer camps, and was required to play this a couple of times. I enjoy playing this song very much. I don’t know what happened, but someone changed the ABC file. I fixed it back to the way I had it now. Sorry about the key. I was never that great at reading keys. :P

Sara

After editing my ABC, someone kindly pointed out that I messed it up quite a bit. I apologize. Hopefully I have it right now! lol

“The Road to Boston” ~ for comparison ~ the same transcription usual for 2/4

M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka / march
K: D Major
|: f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | dA FA |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef |d2 d2 :|
|: a2 ag/a/ | ba gf | g2 gf/g/ | ag fe |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | d2 d2 :|

The tune is relaxed and not played at Irish polka tempos, more as a march for contra dancing… I can see how it could be taken as ‘celtic_lass has given it, more akin to 4/4:

M: 4/4
L: 1/8
R: march
K: D Major
|: f4 f2 ef | g2 f2 e2 d2 | c2 d2 e2 f2 | d2 A2 F2 A2 |
f4 f2 ef | g2 f2 e2 d2 | c2 d2 e2 f2 | d4 d4 :|
|: a4 a2 ga | b2 a2 g2 f2 | g4 g2 fg | a2 g2 f2 e2 |
f4 f2 ef | g2 f2 e2 d2 | c2 d2 e2 f2 | d4 d4 :|

Tempo ~ 110 - 120 bpm…

Just so everyone knows, the original version of this tune that I submitted was supposed to have a 4/4 measure. After someone messed with it and changed it to 2/4, I haven’t been able to change it back to 4/4.

Sara

2/4 & 4/4

Sorry lass, it would have been Jeremy, the webmaster, but I am in agreement with him, and suspect most would be. This melody and tune reads better and more naturally as 2/4, the melody and everything about it, not 4/4 ~ but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your own thing with it… I also have it in a number of collections as 2/4, not 4/4…

C| = Cut Time = Alla Breve = 2/2 (not 4/4)
& emphasizing the 2 beats in the measure in the same way 2/4 does…

M: C|
L: 1/4
R: polka / march
K: D Major
|: f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | dA FA |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef |d2 d2 :|
|: a2 ag/a/ | ba gf | g2 gf/g/ | ag fe |
f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | cd ef | d2 d2 :|

A little more background

Previously known as The Road to London or the The London March, legend has it that this is the march that was played as the KGs left East Greenwich, RI. to support their bretheren in Mass. immediatly following the Lexington and Concord incedent, hence the new name (Green was not present). As a matter of record, The Kentish Guards never reached Massechusetts. RIs Governor Cooke caught wind of there intentions, and order them stopped at the boarder. I have a transcription of a second part or counter melody that was popular amoungst New England fifers. Would you like it here? How do I do that? I recorded this march on my solo recording, Marc Bernier-Always We Come. How do I list that with the recordings.

Posted by .

Yes!?

Nice one fife ~ a transcript would be interesting, but seeing your recording and the tracks listed here would also be interesting…

The earlier mentioned 2nd part

I’m sorry, I should have proof read, or spell checked my earlier post.

I recieved an email from "Someone At The Session" saying I should post my counter melody in ABC, and one of you might take care of making it sheet music to be posted with the first part. Haveing no I dea how to do ABCs, I think I just taught myself. Nobody really reads this stuff do they?

X:1
T:Rhode to Boston-harmony
M:2/4
L:1/8
N:this harmony or counter melody was once quite popular with New England fifers.
Z:Marc Bernier 1/ 22/07
K:Dmaj
|: A | dA dc/d/ | ed cd | EF Gd | fe de/c/ |
dA dc/d/ | ed cd | EF GA | F2 F :|
|: f | f2 fe/f/ | gf ed | ec ed/e/ | fe dc |
dA dc/d/ | ed cd | EF G A/G/ | F2 F :|

I hope thats correct. I’d like to get my recording listed as a source for this tune. How do I do that?

Posted by .

Yes, some read ABC’s more easily or instead of the dots, some prefer the dots, some out-and-out have a phobia about the ABc’s, and some of us read ABC’s as fluently as the dots… :-/

On The Road To Boston

This piece has been recorded by The Boston Camerata on their album LIBERTY TREE: EARLY AMERICAN MUSIC 1776-1881 entitled On The Road To Boston. There’s another track on the same album called The Boston March, which is a different piece of music.

This tune is also was recorded by The Jolly Rogues (American group), on thier 14 Miles to Boston CD.

Sara