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Seventy-Six Trombones (from the "Music Man")

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Lyrics and music by Meredith Willson.

Seventy-six trombones led the big parade,
With a hundred and ten cornets close at hand.
They were followed by rows and rows,
Of the finest virtuosos,
The cream of every famous band.

Seventy-six trombones caught the morning sun,
With a hundred and ten cornets right behind..
They were over a thousand reeds,
Springing up like weeds,
There were horns of every shape and size.

There were copper bottom timpani in horse platoons,
Thundering, thundering, all along the way.
Double bell euphoniums and big bassoons,
Each bassoon having its big fat say.

There were fifty mounted canons in the battery,
Thundering, thundering, louder than before.
Clarinets of every size,
And trumpets who'd improvise,
A full octave higher than the score!

Seventy-six trombones hit the counterpoint, 
While a hundred and ten cornets blazed away.
To the rhythm of Harch! Harch! Harch!
All the kids began to march,
And they're marching still right today!

Seventy-six trombones led the big parade,
When the order to march rang out loud and clear.
Starting off with a big bang bong on a Chinese gong,
by a big bang bonger at the rear.

Seventy-six trombones hit the counterpoint,
while a hundred and ten cornets played the air.
Then I modestly took my place as the one and only bass,
and I oompahed up and down the square.

From the soundtrack of the musical play, "The Music Man" (1957). | Midi sequenced by Gary Rogers.

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For kids
76 trombones, 110 cornets, thousands of reeds—and 1 bass. Take this fun quiz from NIEHS to see which 1 thing is not like the other. Look closely!
For parents
Less screen time, more time to play music. It’s challenging to limit kids’ (and our own) time spent in front of a computer, TV, or phone. But understanding the benefits and developing strategies can help.
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