British Grenadiers’ March polka

Also known as British Chartered Accountants, British Grenadiers, The British Grenadiers March, The British Grenadiers, The British Grenadiers’ March, The March Of The British Grenadiers, Vain Britons, Vain Britons Boast No Longer, Vain Britons, Boast No Longer.

There is 1 recording of this tune.

British Grenadiers’ March has been added to 4 tune sets.

British Grenadiers' March has been added to 46 tunebooks.

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Six settings

X: 1
T: British Grenadiers' March
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|:dA de|fg/f/ ef/g/|ad {g}f/e/d/c/|1 d2 dA:|2 d2d||
|:f/g/|a2 ag|f>g ad|de/f/ gf|e3A|
dc/d/ ed/e/|fe/f/ gf/g/|ad {g}f/e/d/c/|d2d:|
X: 2
T: British Grenadiers' March
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
dA de|fg/f/ ef/g/|ad f/e/d/c/|d/D/E/F/ G/A/B/c/|
dA de|fg/f/ ef/g/|Ad f/e/d/c/|d3:|
a>b ag|f>g aa|bb a/g/f/e/|e2 cA|
dc/d/ ed/e/|fe/f/ gf/g/|ad f/e/d/c/|d3:|
X: 3
T: British Grenadiers' March
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
GD GA|Bc/B/ AB/c/|dG B/A/G/F/|G3 D/E/F|
GD/G/ AG/A/|BB A2|d>G B/>A/G/F/|G3:|
d>e dc|B2 d2|e>e d/c/B/A/|GA/G/ F>D|
G2 AA|B/G/d/B/ AB/c/|dD B/A/G/F/|G2 G:|
X: 4
T: British Grenadiers' March
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A|:dA de|f2 ef/g/|ad f/e/d/c/|1 d3 A:|2 d3||
f/g/|a>b ag|f>g ad|de/f/ gf|e3A|
dA de|f2 ef/g/|ad f/e/d/c/|d3||
X: 5
T: British Grenadiers' March
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
G>D GA|Bc/B/ AB/c/|d>G B/A/G/F/|G3 D|
GD/G/ AG/A/|B>B AB/c|d>G B/>A/G/F/|G3:|
d>e dc|B2 d2|e>e d/>c/B/A/|G2 F>D|
G2 A2|Bd/B/ AB/c/|d>D B/>A/G/F/|G3:|
G3 D G2 A2|B2 c>B A2 B>c|d3 G B>AG>F|G4 G2 D2|
G2 D>G A2 G>A|B3 B A2 B>c|d3 G B>AG>F|G2 (3GGG G2:|
d3 e d2 c2|B4 d4|e3 e d>cB>A|G4 F2 (3DEF|
G4 A4|B2 d>B A2 (3ABc|d3 D B>AG>F|G2 (3GGG G2:|
X: 6
T: British Grenadiers' March
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:D|GD GA|Bc/B/ AB/c/|dG B/A/G/F/|G2 G:|
|:B/c/|d>e dc|Bc dd|ee d/c/B/A/|G2 FD|
GF/G/ AG/A/|BA/B/ cB/c/|dG B/A/G/F/|G2 G:|

Twenty comments

“British Grenediers”

“Kerr’s Merry Melodies, Vol. 3”

K: D Major
|: A |
dA de | fg/f/ ef/g/ | ad f/e/d/c/ | d/D/E/F/ G/A/B/c/ |
dA de | fg/f/ ef/g/ | Ad f/e/d/c/ | d3 :|
|: f |
a>b ag | f>g aa | bb a/g/f/e/ | e2 cA |
dc/d/ ed/e/ | fe/f/ gf/g/ | ad f/e/d/c/ | d3 :|

“British Grenediers” ~ “The Fiddler’s Companion” by Andrew Kuntz

“ ~ The origins of the “British Genadiers,” one of the most famous of English martial tunes, can be traced to a song called “The New Bath” published by Playford in the late 17th century, however it may be older than even that. Walker, in his History of Music in England (1924) concludes the present melody “is the result of some three centuries’ evolution of an Elizabethan tune.” One version was printed in the Edinburg Musical Miscellany of 1738, and another version exists from 1745. By the time of the American Revolution, the tune was quite well known and had been popular for nearly a century; popular enough certainly to have fostered many 18th century parodies. According to Christopher Ward (1952) it was played by British military musicians during the Battle of Brandywine in September of 1777. The melody appeared in the revised version of the burletta pantomime Harlequin Everywhere “which reopened in January, 1780 at Covent Garden {London}, after the Americans had been bloodily thrown back from Savannah, Ga., during the War of Independence” (Winstock, 1970, pg. 30).

~ The subjects of the title, grenadiers serving in the English army, were originally soldiers who threw grenades “and thus tended to be long in arm, big, tall men” according to historian Byron Farwell (1981). Grenades went out of fashion for some time in European warfare, but grenadier companies consisting of the tallest men were usually attached to battalions and were thought of as specialized, somewhat elite troops, so that “…by the First World War the term ‘grenadier’ had so changed its meaning that when the grenade throwers returned to the battlefield there were objections to calling them grenadiers and they became known as ‘bombers’ (Farwell). It is a tradition, says David Murray (Music of the Scottish Regiments, Edinburgh, 1994, pg. 179), that “The British Grenadiers” is the march past of all British fusilier regiments, “an allusion to the bursting grenade badge which all share in some form or another.”

~ “The British Grenadiers” has entered morris dance tradition as a polka step tune for North‑West Morris and a Cotswold morris from the village of Longborough, Gloucestershire.“

Note: also played in G Major…

Somehow, I just don’t see this featuring in many IRISH sessions.

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The version ceolachan has submitted above, from Kerr’s Merry Melodies, is as far as I know the standard tune sung or played now, and I think it is altogether better in the second part than the version in the sheet music.

“The British Grenadiers” ~ can be repeated or not

Here’s a G Major version of it, with some few other possibilities. Outside of English and mixed sessions the only time I’ve ever played this in an Irish session was for the kick, for example when meeting with some friends from the North in ‘quiet-out-of-the-way’ places in the Republic… We used to have a song / tune exchange, green & orange… I have also played it for dance. I prefer it in the lower key:

R: March
K: G Major
|: D |
GD GA | Bc/B/ AB/c/ | dG B/A/G/F/ | G3 D/E/F |
GD/G/ AG/A/ | BB A2 | d>G B/>A/G/F/ | G3 :|
|: B/c/ |
d>e dc | B2 d2 | e>e d/c/B/A/ | GA/G/ F>D |
G2 AA | B/G/d/B/ AB/c/ | dD B/A/G/F/ | G2 G :|

Some choose to do it with the repeats, as given, 32 bars, and it is also taken without the repeats, 16 bars…

“Vain Britons, Boast No Longer”

I like that title, anybody got the lyrics? 😎

The British Grenadiers

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules;
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these;
But of all the world’s braves heroes, there’s none that can compare
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.

Those heroes of antiquity ne’er saw a cannon ball,
Or knew the force of powder to slay their foes withal;
But our brave boys do know it, and banish all their fears,
Sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.

Whene’er we are commanded to storm the palisades,
Our leaders march with fusees, and we with hand grenades;
We throw them from the glacis about the enemies’ ears,
Sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.

And when the siege is over, we to the town repair,
The townsmen cry, Hurrah, boys, here comes a Grenadier.
Here come the Grenadiers, my boys, who know no doubts or fears,
Sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.

Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health to those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the loupèd clothes;
May they and their commanders live happy all their years,
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.

Tally-ho there old boy!

AAAAA!!! I didn’t mean that set… 🙁

“Vain Britons, Boast No Longer” ~ jingoism marches on, 1776

Sung to the tune “British Grenadiers”:

Vain Britons boast no longer with proud Indignity,.
By Land your conquering legions, your matchless strength at sea!
Since we your braver sons, incens’d, our swords have guided on,
Huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, for war and Washington!

Urged on by north and vengeance, these valiant champions came,
Loud bellowing tea and treason, and George was all on flame!
Yet sacrilegious as it seems, we rebels, still live on,
And laugh at all your empty puffs, and so does Washington!

Still deaf to mild intreaties, still blind to England’s good,
You have for thirty pieces–betray’d your country’s blood;
Like Aesop’s greedy cur, you’ll gain a shadow for your bone,
Yet find us fearful shades indeed, inspir’d by Washington.

Mysterious! unexampled! incomprehensible!
The blundering schemes of Britain, their folly, pride and zeal!
Like lions how ye grows, and threat! meer asses have ye shown,
And ye shall share an Asi’s fate, and daudge for Washington!

Your dark, unfathom’d councils our weakest heads defeat,
Our children rout your armies, our boats destroy your fleet!
And to compleat the dire disgrace, coop’d up within a town,
You live the scorn of all our host! the slaves of Washington!

Great heaven! is this the Nation whose thund’ring arms were hurl’d
Through Europe, Africa, India? whose navy ruled a world?
The lustre of your former deed, ages of renown,
Lost in a moment or transfered to us and Washington.

Yet think not thirst of glory unsheaths our vengeful swords,
To read your bands asunder and cast away your cords,
’Tis heaven born freedom fires us all and strengthens each brave son,
From him who humbly guides the plough to god like Washington!

For this o could our ishes your ancient rage inspire!
Your armies should be doubled in numbers, force and fire!
Then might the glorious conflict prove, which best deserv’d the boon,
America of Albion, a George or Washington!

Fired with the great idea–our fathers shades would rise!
To view the stern contention–the Gods desert their skies,
And wolf, mid hosts of heroes, superior, bending down,
Cry out, with transport well dont, brave Washington!

Should George, too choice of Britons to foreign Realms apply,
And madly arm half Europe, yet still we would defy
Turk, Russian, Jew, and Infidel, or all those powers in one,
While Hancock crowns our Senate–our camp great Washington.

Though warlike weapons failed us disdaining slavish fears,
To swords we’d beat our plough-shares, our pruning-hooks to spears,
And rush all desparated on our foe! breathe, till battle won;
Then shout and shout, America! and conquoring Washington!

Proud France view with terror and haughty Spain should fear,
While every warlike would court alliance here,
And George, his round, dismounted from his throne,
Pay homage to America and glorious Washington!

The above lyrics are attributed to a Jonathan M. Sewall of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S.A. ~ where else eh?

Bagpipe version

Hi, I uploded this tune some days ago. I´ve have heard this tune performed several times on the highland bagpipe. My version is therefore suiteable for that instruments limited to a high “a” as a top note.

It´s very common that the bagpipe versions of well known tunes are somewhat different than the standard version for violin and other instruments, due to the bagpipe´s limited tonal range.

Alternative version from the 1975 movie Barry Lyndon

T:British grenadiers
Z:Falkbeer (Klas Krantz)
N:A transcription from the 1975 Stanley Kubrick movie
N:Barry Lyndon performed by Fifes and Drums

A |: dA de | f2 ef/g/ | ad f/e/d/c/ |1 d3 A :|2 d3 |
f/g/ | a>b ag | f>g ad | de/f/ gf | e3A |
dA de | f2 ef/g/ | ad f/e/d/c/ | d3 |]

Name change to protect the …

Dublin City Morris use this tune for the dance ‘Nuts and Berries (Kirtlington)’. to protect people’s sensitivities I announce that It will be danced to the tune ‘British Chartered Accountants’

“British Grenadiers” - a march

Obviously a tune for soldiers to march to. The interesting question is can it ( or should it) be swung?

“British Grenediers” ~ yes!?

K: G Major
|: D |
G>D GA | Bc/B/ AB/c/ | d>G B/A/G/F/ | G3 D |
GD/G/ AG/A/ | B>B AB/c | d>G B/>A/G/F/ | G3 :|
|: B/c/ |
d>e dc | B2 d2 | e>e d/>c/B/A/ | G2 F>D |
G2 A2 | Bd/B/ AB/c/ | d>D B/>A/G/F/ | G3 :|

I tend to swing it more when taking it slow, which is not uncommon. Also, as is true with most marches, and why I often add their transcriptions under ‘barndances’ (4/4, species: ‘hornpipe’), the use of ‘swing’ in playing marches, even if only as a variation or intermittent, is not in my understanding unusual. This tune is a good example of one that could be swung throughout:

M: 4/4
R: March
K: G Major
|: D2 |
G3 D G2 A2 | B2 c>B A2 B>c | d3 G B>AG>F | G4 G2 D2 |
G2 D>G A2 G>A | B3 B A2 B>c | d3 G B>AG>F | G2 (3GGG G2 :|
|: B>c |
d3 e d2 c2 | B4 d4 | e3 e d>cB>A | G4 F2 (3DEF |
G4 A4 | B2 d>B A2 (3ABc | d3 D B>AG>F | G2 (3GGG G2 :|

“British Grenadiers”

Now all we want is the Duke of York’s 10,000 men marching to this swinging tune 🙂

Do they wear kilts? It could be a painful procession… 🙁

The Patriot

Is this the same as the one they play in “The Patriot”?