Polka & March, G, Traditional Irish & English
Also known as: Brighton Camp March; The Waxies’ Dargle
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.
- Audio – Baron Collins Hill: The Girl I Left Behind Me – played on mandolin with rhythm guitar. From the “album” The Girl I Left Behind Me and the video lesson (MandoLessons)
- Video – angloconc: The Girl I Left Behind Me – played on Anglo concertina. From the book Civil War Concertina by Gary Coover, Rollston Press.
- Audio – John Whelan: Girl I Left Behind Me – Rakes of Mallow – played on button accordion. From John Whelan’s 2021 “Taking Time” Session Recordings Archive, Taking Time #4. (Vashon Island, Washington, USA)
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.
Play from the Dots
Examples of sets that include this tune.
- Rakes & Rigger Polka Set: The Girl I Left Behind Me (G) / The Rakes of Mallow (G) / Ger the Rigger (A)
- The Girl I Left Behind Me / Maggie in the Wood
References and Resources
For those who want to dig deeper, here are some other resources.
- More Recordings
- Video – Katherine Moller: Old Time Fiddle, The Girl I Left Behind Me – from the album By Request
- Video – Will Allen: The Girl I left behind me (Brighton Camp) – played on button accordion (melodion)
- Audio – Tim McHugh (Irish Traditional Music Archive): The girl I left behind me, polka ; Heel and toe, polka – played on flute – field recording, The Mills Inn, Baile Bhúirne, Co. Cork, 2013.
- Video – Alison Brown, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull, Becky Buller and Missy Raines: The Girl I Left Behind Me – song in American old-time style (cover of John Hartford’s version of the song).
- Video – Phil Pugh (hobbymorris): Earl of Stamford Morris dancing Brighton Camp (Badby) at Hastings in 2004
- Book – Tom Morley: Fiddle Club Favorites
- Book – Francis O’Neill: O’Neill’s 1001 Jigs, Reels, Hornpipes, Airs and Marches
- Lesson – Baron Collins Hill (MandoLessons): The Girl I Left Behind Me – mandolin lesson with video, sheet music, and play-along tracks.
- Lesson – Patrick Murphy: The Girl I Left Behind Me – slow fiddle demonstration of the tune. (Arrangement from Tom Morley: Fiddle Club Favorites.)
- Lesson – Julia Plumb (Free Fiddle Lessons): The Girl I Left Behind Me – fiddle lesson video
- Lesson – Play Better Banjo: Girl I Left Behind Me – Clawhammer Banjo (Rhythmic Version) | (Melodic Version) – American old-time style, played on 5-string banjo
- Additional Resources
- Webpage: The Session: The Girl I Left Behind Me (Polka) – crowdsourced sheet music, comments, and other information.
- Article – Wikipedia: The Girl I Left Behind