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Colonel Bogey March

The "Colonel Bogey March" is one of the most successful marches ever published. It was written in 1914 by a bandmaster from the British Royal Marines, Lt. F.J. Ricketts (1881-1945).

Supposedly, the tune was inspired by a military man and golfer who whistled a characteristic two-note phrase (a descending minor third interval) instead of shouting "Fore!". It is this phrase that begins each line of the melody.

Ricketts wrote his music under the name "Kenneth Alford" because military officers were not supposed to have outside interests. The sheet music was a million seller and the march had been recorded many times before it was used in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai.

In addition to the "Colonel Bogey March", Ricketts wrote the music to several popular Christian hymns, including "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come ("Harvest Home")".

Many humorous or satirical verses have been sung to this tune, most of them vulgar. The most famous date from World War II and are variants on "Hitler has only got one ball".

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