Colonel Bogey March

This famous melody always becomes an earworm when it is played and heard!

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A former soldier nicknamed Colonel Bogey, instead of shouting “Fore!” whistled a descending minor third interval before he started his golf swing.

This was overheard by Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts, director of music for the Royal Marines. From this whistled interval, Ricketts was inspired to compose The Colonel Bogey March, using the pen name Kenneth J. Alford, in 1914.

The memorable melody had numerous parody lyrics with topics ranging from the Axis Powers in World War II to household cleaners to shoes. It was also famously used by Malcolm Arnold in the classic 1957 movie Bridge on the River Kwai.

Key: C Major

Mood: happy and distracted

Pedagogy: two-note slurs, staccato, tenuto, accents, sixths.


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