Bonaparte’s Retreat (Pee Wee King)

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This is an online fiddle lesson for the bluegrass song "Bonaparte's Retreat" in the style of PeeWee King.

BluegrassDaddy.com is your best source for Bluegrass, Old Time, Celtic, Gospel, and Country fiddle lessons!

Genre: Bluegrass
Skill Level: Intermediate
Keys of Bb, D and C

You may download and use any of the MP3s and tablature for your personal use. However, please do not make them available online or otherwise distribute them.

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Video #1: Here is a video of me playing the song "Bonaparte's Retreat."

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"Bonaparte's Retreat" is the name of two related songs. The original was a wordless melody that existed as various fiddle tunes dating back to at least the late 1800s and probably well before that. In 1950, American country music artist Pee Wee King recorded a modified version of the song, with lyrics added, which he also called "Bonaparte's Retreat". This latter song has been covered by many country artists.

The title of the original "Bonaparte's Retreat" is an apparent reference to Napoleon Bonaparte's disastrous retreat from Russia in 1812, and some earlier British folk songs told of that event.

In 1937, American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, while traveling through Kentucky, recorded violinist William Hamilton Stepp playing "Bonaparte's Retreat." This recording was inducted in 2016 into the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.

source: wikipedia

Bonaparte's Retreat

Met the girl I love in a town way down in Dixie
Beneath the stars up above
She was the sweetest girl I ever did see

So I held her in my arms and told her of her many charms, I
Kissed her while the fiddle played
The Bonaparte's Retreat

All the world was bright as I held her on that night
And I heard her say
Please don't you go away
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Best Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Bonaparte's Retreat

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by MoonShadows MoonShadows 3 months ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #75095
    John (BGD)
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Here is a great old bluegrass tune – Bonaparte’s Retreat in the style of PeeWee King.  Thanks Steve for requesting this lesson!

    Here is the link to the lesson:  Bonaparte’s Retreat

    #75096
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    John ,This is great , I can’t wait for the other two versions , You are doing ! Which lesson or style are the Summer camp kids and advanced camp fiddle players doing ?

    #75097
    cricket
    cricket
    Participant

    Oh that is so cool!  Bonaparte’s Retreat is such a cool tune and there are so many things to do with it.  This is great…never heard it, never heard of PeeWee King…but sounds awesome.  Great job, John…thanks for the lesson.  Thanks for requesting it, Steve!

    #75099
    Frederick
    Frederick
    Participant

    What a great arrangement of a famous old tune. What a great job singing it, too. Thanks, John.

    #75117
    John (BGD)
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    The campers learned the Celtic version in the style of Aly Bain. I don’t think I have a video of them!

    #75133
    Steve Srader
    Steve Srader
    Participant

    John I wish I could hear them play the Aly Bain version absolutely beautiful , I can just close my eye’s and imagine and hear the tune , that version is great !

    #75257
    Kaeleigh
    Kaeleigh
    Participant

    I love this!! I play this Celtic style, but I love PeeWee King and I want to learn this too!

    #75260
    MoonShadows
    MoonShadows
    Participant

    Great song and I really like your rendition! I found this YouTube video of Pee Wee King singing it. https://youtu.be/BH3OPOnUpEs

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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