Westphalia Waltz. Not really a very common tune on Clawhammer banjo, but one I've enjoyed working out.
The history I've been able to piece together (and I noticed some links I've saved have disappeared from the web) leads me to believe it is possibly Polish in origin, where the title is "Pytala Sie Panni," which translates to "Why are you sad, Lady?"
It possibly immigrated into Province, France in the 13th century, or possibly into Germany, where it was learned by Cotton Collins, a fiddle player for the legendary Lone Star Playboys, while he was stationed there in 1946.
I've heard that the name came from dancers in Westphalia, Texas.
There is also information on Fiddlers Companion about the tune (The entry from Fiddlers Companion is also on the notes page of the tab).
Lyrics were added by Mickey Newbury, apparently after the tune came to America:
Westphalia Texas Waltz Lyrics by: Mickey Newbury
"He said to her "My little darlin', You're as lovely as I did recall, and her eyes brightly sparkled like diamonds, as her tears started slowly to fall.
Oh yes I can clearly remember, he said with a slow Texas drawl, and she smiled as she softly surrendered, to the strains of the Westphalia Waltz.
Instrumental till key change up:
He stood as the sun in the mornin', rose up on Wichita Falls, and there in the dim light she watched, as he sauntered on off down the hall,
Oh yes I can clearly remember, he said with a slow Texas drawl, and she smiled as she softly surrendered, to the strains of the Westphalia Waltz,
Instrumental till final verse:
Oh yes I can clearly remember, that night and San Antone Rose, she smiled as she softly surrendered, to the strains of the Westphalia Waltz."
It seems this might be a slightly different version, since the tune I play and have tabbed doesn't change keys.
And a very rough recording (I'm working with a split on the end of my thumb, and had to use my index finger, since I broke the nail to the quick on my usual frazzling finger). I did attempt to add a little rhythm guitar track, also.
I might add here that I first heard the tune back around 2003 when I picked up a CD at Crackerbarrel, "Old Time Gathering." I started a thread on ezFolk that lead me to the on-line info I have, then found notes in a Craig Duncan fiddle method book. I picked out the melody on guitar, and spent the next few years attempting to work up a CH version based on that tune. So, it took me something like 7 years, but I finally got something that works for me (except when I try to record it [;(] ).
When I get my fingernail and thumb back into playing order, I'll try to get a better recording up.
Thank you once again for that compliment about Westphalia Waltz. It's been 4 years since I posted that tune, and I still remember your first encouraging words about my version. All of us have insecurities about our playing, and your encouragement at that time meant so much to me and I still get a glow when I think about it. Your positive energy has boosted many others as well, I'm sure. In my own small way, I have tried to be as encouraging to others as you have been to so many. I doubt I come close, but I do believe in the power of an encouraging word and positive energy.
My friend Joe Weed has spent a lot of time and effort digging up the history of the Westphalia Waltz. He's made a documentary about his detective work. I still haven't seen it but I want to. Go to: joeweed.com/ and clilck on "documentaries" to see photos and info about it.