Ellsworth's Funeral March

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ELLSWORTH'S FUNERAL MARCH. American, Slow Air (4/4 time). USA, southwestern Pa. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. The tune was the best-known "dead march" in the repertories of southwestern Pa. martial bands, relates Bayard (1981), thought the tune has not been collected elsewhere. Bayard did find one other version only, a "cradle song" from a Northumbrian piper. There is a resemblance to the camp revival hymn "Shall We Gather By the River" (1864), and though evidence is scant, Bayard speculates the composer of the funeral march may have been strongly influenced by the hymn. The name 'Ellsworth', Bayard believes, commemorated Colonel Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth, who had the 'heroic' misfortune to be the first young Union officer to be shot dead in the war (by a civilian while in the act of tearing down a Southern flag from a house in Alexandria, Virginia); the papers of the day lionized him.

Source for notated version: Hiram Horner (Westmoreland and Fayette Counties, Pa., 1960) [Bayard].

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 150A-C, pp. 84-86.

Recorded sources:




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