When the Monkey Wrapped His Tail Around the Flagpole

As played by Melvin Wine from the West Virginia region

March in G

From the Melvin Wine Collection

3 files for this tune:

Melody-Only Transcription (PDF)
Full Transcription (PDF)
MIDI

Source:
Field recording available on the CD/DVD set "One More Time": The Life and Music of Melvin Wine from the Augusta Heritage Center

Comments:
This tune is loosely based on the main theme to National Emblem March, commonly played by military bands (see the YouTube video below, the theme starts at 0:44). The servicemen would sing doggerel lyrics to that theme, starting with "When the monkey wrapped his tail around the flagpole" and with who-knows-what obscenities thereafter. Given its dubious origins, I'm surprised that Melvin Wine (who was, by all accounts, a devout and pious Christian) played this tune. I have to wonder where he got it. It was difficult to transcribe because his rhythm was so ragged in the recording. That is probably due to two conditions: his advanced age when the recording was made, and this being one of the many tunes in his enormous repertoire that he just didn't play too often. I am calling this a march because of the original source, but really, your guess is as good as mine as to the tune type.


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