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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Help "Under the Double Eagle"

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Alexpnorton - Posted - 08/28/2008:  08:33:25

Gentelmen, In what key center do you play "Under the Double Eagle" I am working in C currently, the song then modulates to F , with the turn around being in F / any help or even an MP3 would be great


Edited by - Alexpnorton on 09/09/2008 14:04:18

musekatcher - Posted - 08/28/2008:  09:20:15

It was recorded in C, modulating to F and back to C, but it was also recorded in C, without modulating, but staying in C for the B part. There's also a third part I think (? ) that is not done much. You might look around for one of the early originals on a collection of early guitar music. If I can find it, I have such a copy somewhere.

Jim Holland
Athens, AL

xnavyguy - Posted - 08/28/2008:  10:55:32

My dad taught me to play it in C. In their Look Away! album, Doc & Merle Watson play a version which, to me, is one of the best guitar versions I've ever heard.


Jim Yates - Posted - 08/28/2008:  11:23:44

I've always played it in C and F. I've never found a satisfactory way of ending this tune though. I usually just play F, F#, G and stop.


Alexpnorton - Posted - 08/28/2008:  13:00:32

Thanks guys ,It is good to know that many of us remember this song. I'll post a mp3 of what I recall as soon as I can play it well enuogh to upload..............Steve


jasonh - Posted - 08/28/2008:  14:22:08

I saw this thread and just posted tab to Under the Double Eagle in the tab section. It's the version without the modulation, based on how Charlie Waller used to do it. Hope it helps!

Alexpnorton - Posted - 08/28/2008:  15:55:28

Jasonh, Yes this is close to what I am playing and yes I do modulate to F but otherwise this is a good representation of the "Double Eagle" I am working towards. thank you all for all your help on this ....Steve.... The Tab posts worked good on my com. and Midi never makes a mistake unlike this ol flatpicker


Tango_grass - Posted - 08/29/2008:  10:49:07

The version I learned, but rarely play, starts in C, the second part is in C, and the third part is in F.


Visit Tango_grass on Mypace! Click here!
The VZ Valley Boys

guitarharbour - Posted - 09/02/2008:  07:20:38

There's a live version I did of it at

musekatcher - Posted - 09/03/2008:  10:05:35

Originally posted by guitarharbour

There's a live version I did of it at

Lordy! Great sound for a live recording. I bet the crowds love it!

Jim Holland
Athens, AL

dlight - Posted - 09/03/2008:  15:56:14

OK, time to throw a spanner in the works (for my American friends, a "spanner" is a monkey wrench). I've been transcribing "Eagle" as performed by John Philip Sousa and his band on an old 78 on Youtube. It starts out in E (four sharps) and modulates to A (three sharps), then E again, then A to finish off.

Practice makes perfect, but nobody''s perfect, so why bother??

dlight - Posted - 09/04/2008:  08:14:56

Whoops! Sorry about that! It finishes in E; it goes to A only in the "C" section and never returns after the Da Capo.

Practice makes perfect, but nobody''s perfect, so why bother??

musekatcher - Posted - 09/04/2008:  11:43:10

Interesting trivia: I'm pretty sure I used to hear folks call it "Under the Doubled Eagle", like maybe an eagle doubled up as it dives or something. Its correctly called Under the Double Eagle, a reference to the dual monarchy of Austria and Hungary. Their state seal had an Eagle with two heads!

Jim Holland
Athens, AL

Alexpnorton - Posted - 09/09/2008:  13:56:23

Yes , The Double Eagle does refer to the twin monarchy " s of old western Europe. The song is a march and is played by brass bands . There is that Ebbbb , connection , You guys are sharp today and I am close to uploading my little effort. I would really like to hear other versions , as I think American roots players did what they could with this tune and There is a clue as to why there are many different versions. Thank you all for your attention A very interesting thread............................Steve


deleuran - Posted - 09/09/2008:  14:12:52

I have posted a recording of Under The Double Eagle among my recordings. Scroll down a bit:
This is how it sounds like in the hands of a dane

I play it in D. C chord with capo on the second fret.

Deleuran "Toons & tunes"
"Old time all the time"

countrydirt - Posted - 09/14/2008:  06:51:30

Artie Traum told a story of how he was hitch hiking, carrying his guitar and a farmer stopped to give him a ride. Before Artie got in, the farmer asked him if he could play Under the Double Eagle. Artie admitted that at the time he could not. "Well, you can't play that da*n thing then," and drove off. So, it must be pretty important to learn that! It is the first song I ever worked on flatpicking - in C.

Owner of several, master of none!

Edited by - countrydirt on 09/14/2008 06:51:59

banjoscotty - Posted - 09/24/2008:  04:11:51

Under the double eagle and Wildwood flower were
my first to learn.That was many years and memories
age.One more thing,,speed can and will kill a song.
Play them at the correct tempo....


,,,,other than that,,we ain''t nothin but "good ole boys"

deleuran - Posted - 09/24/2008:  04:19:44

Hey Scotty (and fellow Blueridge guy)

How to define what the right tempo IS? I agree that speed kills a song, That is, if you play faster than you actually can. If you know what I mean

Deleuran "Toons & tunes"
"Old time all the time"

UsuallyPickin - Posted - 09/27/2008:  15:12:24

I have to say a word of praise for Norman Blake's recording on " Whiskey Before Breakfast " . R/

deleuran - Posted - 09/28/2008:  04:07:47

Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

I have to say a word of praise for Norman Blake's recording on " Whiskey Before Breakfast " . R/

Amen to that.

Deleuran "Toons & tunes"
"Old time all the time"

Piotr - Posted - 09/29/2008:  08:02:50

I used to own the sheet music of the original composition,
Unter dem Doppeladler, by J F Wagner (1902). The C part alluded to above is just a bass interlude, the third part of the composition. The first is percussive , the second establishes the groove, the third is the bass interlude and the fourth, in F, is what is often called a "trio" in march music.

The Double Eagle was the heraldic symbol for the Habsburgian double monarchy.

How and where it was transformed and how it was transplanted in the US
(via Mexico?) I've no way of knowing. The third part mentioned above is not part of the original composition.

PS: there are several versions on YouTube

Edited by - Piotr on 09/29/2008 08:12:10

deleuran - Posted - 09/29/2008:  08:12:34

Tablatures for this tune can be found in a book called: Teach Yourself Bluegrass Guitar, by Russ Barenberg. Published by Amsco Music Publishing Company 1978.
This is the basis for the version I play on my profile here.
It's in C, but I put a capo on the second fret and play it in D, because I like it better that way, and it is easier

Deleuran "Toons & tunes"
"Old time all the time"

Piotr - Posted - 10/02/2008:  02:07:22

And, actually, the original is in the key of Eb, with the trio in Ab.

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