The Band Played On

Words & Music:

John E. Palmer & Charles B. Ward

Most people only know the chorus to this 1895 ditty written for the New York Sunday World.  Many thanks to and for providing the missing verses & chords to this delightful tune!


     C                               Dm

Matt Casey formed a social club that beat the town for style,

    G                           C

And hired for a meeting place a hall

     C                                 Dm

When payday came around each week they greased the floor with wax.

    G                                  C

And danced with noise and vigor at the ball,

     Am             Dm               Em7          Am

Each Saturday you'd see them dressed up in Sunday clothes,

     D                                    G

Each lad would have his sweetheart by his side.

     C                                    Dm

When Casey led the first grand march they all would fall in line,

  G7                                C       G7

Behind the man who was they joy and pride.  For...


CHORUS:  [play 2x each time]

C           Em             Am         C               G7

Casey would waltz with the strawberry blonde, and the band played on.

G7                                                       C

He'd glide 'cross the floor with the girl he adored, and band played on.

    C            C7        F         Fm

His brain was so loaded it nearly exploded;


The poor girl would shake with alarm.

   F           Fm            C                        F    G7     C

He married the girl with the strawberry curl, and the band played on. [orig.:  "He'd ne'er leave the girl..."]


Such kissing in the corner and such whisp'ring in the hall,

And telling tales of love behind the stairs

As Casey was the favorite and he that ran the ball.

Of kissing and lovemaking did his share,

At twelve o'clock exactly they all would fall in line,

Then march down to the dining hall and eat.

But Casey would not join them although ev'ry thing was fine,

But he stayed upstairs and exercise his feet.  For...




Now when the dance was over and the band played home sweet home,

They played a tune at Casey's own request.

He thank'd them very kindly for the favors they had shown.

Then he'd waltz once with the girl that he loved best.

Most all the friends are married that Casey used to know,

And Casey too has taken him a wife.

The blond he used to waltz and glide with on the ball room floor,

Is happy missis Casey now for life.  For...



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