The Girl I Left Behind Me

Polka & March, G, Traditional Irish & English
Also known as: Brighton Camp March; The Waxies’ Dargle

The Girl I Left Behind Me. TrailJams Tune of the Week. Play it together April 2, 2023. Illustration copyright 2023 Jonathan Lay.

A polka, a march, a song: in its long life this tune has been all three. Whether the tune was first played in Ireland or England is uncertain, but it migrated between those two countries and was played as a dance tune and military march. It then traveled across the Atlantic, where it is now part of the American old-time and Bluegrass repertoires. In England it is part of the Morris dance tune repertoire. Along the way it has acquired several sets of lyrics, and is sung as The Waxies’ Dargle and The Girl I Left Behind Me.


Sheet Music (Dots)

As always for traditional tunes, the musical notation and chords do not indicate the “right” way to play the tune, but are a useful reference.

Sheet music and chords for The Girl I Left Behind Me, Polka & March in G major. Traditional Irish, English, American. Arrangement by Jonathan Lay.
Play from the Dots
Slow tempo 75bpm
Moderate tempo 105bpm


Examples of sets that include this tune.

References and Resources

For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.