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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


Each time a new file is posted in Current Tablature, the previous file is moved to "Archived tab files".


Aura Lea



music: George R. Poulton, lyrics: W. W. Fosdick

Arr: Ruth Randle & Merv Rowley 2012


The ballad of Aura Lea, with its poetic lyrics and wistful melody about the "Maid with Golden Hair" is found in most books of American folk songs. It may be surprising to learn that it originated as a Civil War song, published in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1861 , with the title, Aura Lea. The composer was George R. Poulton, with lyrics by W. W. Fosdick. Few have heard most of these lyrics today. It was initially written in a 2/4 march tempo, with repetitive musical cadence as accompaniment. It was copied by the Confederacy in 1864, using the same lyrics with a revised accompaniment that included four-part choral harmony. The nostalgic appeal of Aura Lee persisted long after the Civil War ended, and America gradually acquired a new folk song. In folk tradition, the lyrics changed somewhat over the years - for example, in verse 1, the blackbird was sometimes "in" or "on", but often "'neath" the willow tree. Sometimes he "rocked", sometimes "piped" as he sang. The tempo gradually slowed to a more romantic ballad style. The original version also had a chorus, which repeated the last lines of the first verse. I have included that in this arrangement. The sheet music can be found in a search of the Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection.


This beautiful melody was later adapted for a song called Army Blue, and was chosen as the official song of the U.S. Military Academy/West Point Class of 1865.Traditionally played for Graduating Class Front and Center, March, when the West Point First Class steps out of ranks for the final time as cadets; it is also played as the last dance at all hops. The first six stanzas were written by L.W. Becklaw. The Army Blue lyrics can be found in the West Point link below.


And of course, this same melody was adapted for Elvis Presley's song, Love Me Tender.

Your 1-3-5 Team 



Download files 


Aura Lea.TEF


Aura Lea.pdf


Aura Lea.MID



Historical links













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