Bonaparte's Retreat

As played by Clayton McMichen from the Georgia region

March in D

From the Clayton McMichen Collection

3 files for this tune:

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


78rpm record (MP3 at


This is a very fine exemplar of the march variant of Bonaparte's Retreat.  In fact, of all the march variants I have transcribed so far, this one has the most exquisite trills.  Although the Skillet Lickers rarely used alternate tunings, it sounds as if McMichen was tuned to GDAD when he recorded this version.  Look out for the trills, as well as for the two extra beats that make some repetitions crooked.

Here's a YouTube video of the Skillet Lickers playing Bonaparte's Retreat:

This tune is a member of the following groups:

Bonaparte's Retreat


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