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Jun 4, 2021 - 3:37:25 AM
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266 posts since 5/25/2015

The Jenny Lind Polka

Hi everyone – this is my first time doing the TOTW. The tune I’ve chosen is “The Jenny Lind Polka”.

I chose this tune a while back, and I have since heard that Allison De Groot is using it for on an online workshop at the Mid-West banjo Camp this weekend, which I'm sure will be great, so apologies for the co-incidence.

Jenny Lind

The tune was named in honor of Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish opera singer nicknamed “The Swedish Nightingale”. By the 1840s, Jenny Lind had was attracting sell-out crowds throughout Europe. PT Barnum organized a hugely popular US tour for her in 1850, for which she was said to be have been paid $1,000 dollars per performance, much of which she used to fund the establishment of free schools in Sweden and other charitable causes.

You may well encounter her name today – her status was so high at the time, that many things were named in her honour: houses where she lived or stayed; hospitals she helped to fund; a style of furniture; and even entire towns.

The Tune

The tune’s first written appearance is credited to Anton Wallerstein in 1846. Here are links to two archive recordings, one from either side of the pond, which give a nice idea of different flavors of the tune.

First a recording from 1939 made in Camino, California by John N, Selleck, and recorded by Sidney Cowell.

Jenny Lind polka | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

The second is a recording made in the 1960s of the English Melodeon player Lewis “Scan” Tester

Polka: Jenny Lind - YouTube

(I've just heard from Janet that this link might not work everywhere. She's sent over this link to try if not https://youtu.be/Cg6zytnbZZs )

I’ve included a video of my version, which I’ve tried to base loosely on these recordings and a tab (written with MuseScore).

The tune “Jenny Lynn” is also sometimes called “Jenny Lind”, but seems to be a different tune. Bill Monroe’s “Heel and Toe Polka” sounds like it’s the same tune we’re talking about here though.

Hope you enjoy it!


Edited by - gentrixuk on 06/04/2021 14:57:16

Jun 4, 2021 - 5:30:04 AM
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carlb

USA

2267 posts since 12/16/2007
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Back in 1973 or 74, when I was at Glenville, Joel Shimberg played for us a four part Jenny Lind Polka. He played it in D and the 4th part in G. Many years ago I found original sheet music. Here's is a site where you can get that four part Wallerstein version which is in Eb and Bb which can be transposed to D and G.
https://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/sheetmusic/931/

Later today, I'll record the 4 part version (in aDAde) and post it.

Edited by - carlb on 06/04/2021 05:45:05

Jun 4, 2021 - 5:49:17 AM
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3519 posts since 9/12/2016

I play all 4 parts 3 finger but the first 2 are the better parts imo. Getting rid of the lesser parts happens a lot as you all probably have seen .

My version came from Ira Fords book

wow Carl I had to bookmark that site immediately.

Edited by - Tractor1 on 06/04/2021 06:04:57

Jun 4, 2021 - 9:36:23 AM
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carlb

USA

2267 posts since 12/16/2007
Online Now

OK, so here's my banjo setting, as best as I remember it, as I haven't played it, on the banjo, in about 20 years. Also, I remember that I took the melody line from the sheet music and entered it in my music program (Mozart). Here's a pdf of what I entered, transposed into D and G. Also, I used the program to generate a midi file from the notation. I had to convert the midi file to an mp3 in order for you hear it. I don't know how to upload midi files to Banjo Hangout.


Jun 4, 2021 - 10:47:08 AM

266 posts since 5/25/2015

quote:
Originally posted by carlb

OK, so here's my banjo setting, as best as I remember it, as I haven't played it, on the banjo, in about 20 years. Also, I remember that I took the melody line from the sheet music and entered it in my music program (Mozart). Here's a pdf of what I entered, transposed into D and G. Also, I used the program to generate a midi file from the notation. I had to convert the midi file to an mp3 in order for you hear it. I don't know how to upload midi files to Banjo Hangout.


Thanks Carl. The 4th part is really different to the rest, isn't it ? I've seen a couple of other polkas that have 3rd or 4th parts that change key. I'm not sure how common this is?

Jun 4, 2021 - 11:13:18 AM

carlb

USA

2267 posts since 12/16/2007
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by gentrixuk

Thanks Carl. The 4th part is really different to the rest, isn't it ? I've seen a couple of other polkas that have 3rd or 4th parts that change key. I'm not sure how common this is?


I play a number of two part polkas that change key, like Flying Clouds, Upper Leigh, Lightening Bug, Flop Eared Mule, Richmond Cotillion and the three part Chicken Polka (played ABAC).  I'm sure there are more examples.

Jun 4, 2021 - 11:50:25 AM

3519 posts since 9/12/2016

my 4 part goes D-D-G -C-

Jun 4, 2021 - 4:40:51 PM
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6679 posts since 6/27/2009

Welcome Mark, and thanks for choosing this happy tune with your own pleasing clawhammer take on it. And thanks, Carl, for playing all four parts and explaining about the key change.

I learned by listening to Bill Monroe's Heel and Toe Polka. At the time I arranged it in three-finger style and was excited because it used melodic techniques for the left hand fingering which I had just studied.

It's good to know Jenny Lind was a generous soul for community causes. Interestingly, so was Lotta Crabtree who burlesqued Jenny by dancing, singing, and banjo picking minstrel songs as the main character in a play called Jenny Leatherlungs, when Lotta's own career was just taking off on Broadway in the early 1860's.


Jun 4, 2021 - 7:40:51 PM
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Hay-on-Wye

Wales

250 posts since 6/29/2015

Great tune of the week mark and sounds great In clawhammer. Very popular tune here in U.K. as most Morris troupes play and dance to it.

youtu.be/bGnrCxjgi4c

Jun 4, 2021 - 8:07:59 PM
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Hay-on-Wye

Wales

250 posts since 6/29/2015

Hopefully on the summer solstice this year there will be many more Morris troupes performing. Can’t beat getting up at 4 am to watch the Morris dancers celebrate the longest day

youtu.be/BOd8wGaHjCg

Jun 5, 2021 - 2:57:49 AM

266 posts since 5/25/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Hay-on-Wye

Hopefully on the summer solstice this year there will be many more Morris troupes performing. Can’t beat getting up at 4 am to watch the Morris dancers celebrate the longest day

youtu.be/BOd8wGaHjCg


That's "Ricketts Hornpipe" isn't it? Nice to see Kinver Edge on here - one of my favourite childhood haunts. I'm going to check out what is happening near here on 21st.

Jun 5, 2021 - 1:04:23 PM
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Hay-on-Wye

Wales

250 posts since 6/29/2015

quote:
Originally posted by gentrixuk
quote:
Originally posted by Hay-on-Wye

Hopefully on the summer solstice this year there will be many more Morris troupes performing. Can’t beat getting up at 4 am to watch the Morris dancers celebrate the longest day

youtu.be/BOd8wGaHjCg


That's "Ricketts Hornpipe" isn't it? Nice to see Kinver Edge on here - one of my favourite childhood haunts. I'm going to check out what is happening near here on 21st.


Yes Kinver edge.   Rock houses still here but a little expensive to go in now. 

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