The Band Played On

The Band Played On, also known (by its refrain) as Casey would waltz with a strawberry blonde, was a popular song, with lyrics by John F. Palmer and music by Charles B. Ward (1865–1917), written in 1895.

Unusually, as originally published the verses are in 2/4 time, while the chorus is in 3/4 (waltz) time. The chorus is much better known than the verses to later generations.

The lyrics of the refrain:

Casey would waltz with a strawberry blonde
And the band played on;
He'd glide 'cross the floor with the girl he adored
And the band played on;
But his brain was so loaded it nearly exploded
The poor girl would shake with alarm;
He'd ne'er leave the girl with the strawberry curls
And the band played on.

The song has become a pop standard with many recordings made. One of the first was made by Dan W. Quinn for Berliner Gramophone the same year the number was first published.

The song was later featured in many films, including Raoul Walsh's The Strawberry Blonde (1941), the title of which was inspired by the lyrics, and Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951).

One of the most famous recordings, by Guy Lombardo's orchestra, was made on February 26, 1941 and issued by Decca Records as catalog number 3675 (reissued as number 25341). It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on May 9, 1941 and lasted 4 weeks on the chart, peaking at #6. The numerous other recordings of the number include Alvin and the Chipmunks version in the 1962 album The Chipmunk Songbook.

Famous quotes containing the words played on, played and/or band:

    It was a pretty game, played on the smooth surface of the pond, a man against a loon.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    They played the eloquent tum-tum,
    And lived on scalps served up in rum—
    The only sauce they knew.
    Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836–1911)

    Citizen’s Band radio renders one accessible to a wide variety of people from all walks of life. It should not be forgotten that all walks of life include conceptual artists, dry cleaners, and living poets.
    Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950)