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Napoleon's Grand March (tune from Stephen Baldwin; combined version)

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Source: Folktracks 45-115; Leader LED 2068
Performer: Baldwin, Stephen
Place Collected: Upton Bishop
Date collected: 13 August 1952; 22 June 1954

Stephen James Baldwin (1873-1955), was born in Hereford, youngest son of Charles Baldwin, some of whose tunes were noted by Cecil Sharp. The family soon moved to Newent, which was his parents’ home town. He spent his working life as a railway plate layer, apart from army service in the 1st World War, from which he was invalided out after the Battle of the Somme. He played for a number of morris sides, as well as in pubs, at country dances and gypsy weddings. He ended his days at Upton Bishop, Herefordshire, where he was recorded twice. One recording was made by Peter Kennedy in 1952, and issued on Folktracks 45-115 “A Nutting we will Go” (nla), reissued on CD as FTX-115, with 10 additional tracks, 31 to 40, which appear to have come from Russell Wortley. Russell Wortley’s recording (22 June 1954) was issued, very slightly shortened, by Leader Records, LED 2068, Stephen Baldwin, English Village Fiddler (nla). The original recording is held in the British Library. Musical Traditions have re-issued both sets of recordings on MT CD 334 “Here’s one you’ll like, I think ”, with extensive information on Charles and Stephen Baldwin (see the Musical Traditions website ).

In the linked abc file this is tune number X:19

Napoleon’s Grand March:  Original Keys: C as recorded by RW and A by PK. The two versions were quite different (see X:17 and X:18). X:19 is a combination from the two versions, as published in the Coleford Jig.
An excellent version was recorded from the Yorkshire accordion player George Tremain. Peter Kennedy recorded the tune from Billy Conroy on the  tin whistle in County Durham, publ: FSA-30-122, nla.
notes by Charles Menteith and Paul Burgess