"Oh, the monkey wrapped its tail around the flagpole..."

Q: What's the name of that march that goes, "Oh, the monkey wrapped its tail around the flagpole..."?
A: I don't know why this is one of the most popular questions I get asked, but it is! The march these words were concocted for is not by Sousa at all. They go to E. E. Bagley's "National Emblem" march, probably the most famous non-Sousa patriotic march. I don't know the origin of the words, but I'm relatively sure that Mr. Bagley did not write them... hehe. Another interesting fact about National Emblem: the melody first strain is based on "The Star Spangled Banner."
  • Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Comments (1)

  • Donito Trumpolini

    Donito Trumpolini

    26 January 2017 at 08:56 |
    The E.E. stands for Edwin Eugene. Sousa actually liked this march and his bands played it regularly. The words about the monkey apparently came from an American soldier late in WW1 but his name has long since been forgotten. Given that Bagley lived until 1922, it is quite possible that he heard this lyric but his reaction has not been recorded.

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