Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

OK, sounds like a challenge. Here are a couple of the polkas I've scored out for Chickamauga. Jenny Lind is one of them. I normally allow Elaine to play the lead line, but I've been thinking about how to banjofy this.

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Comment by Al Smitley on August 19, 2013 at 6:23am

Maybe, if I have time today, I will write the TAB out that I have used.

It's not the easiest tune to play on banjo but it is a good tune and.....I'm always attracted to tunes/songs that reflect events of the period.  P.T. Barnum arranged for her to do a concert tour in America in 1850 but songs/tunes were published in America before her arrival.  One good song is "Jenny Lind Mania".

She was a sensation and all kinds of items, from furniture to handkerchiefs to clipper ships, were named for her.  You can go on Ebay and find some.  When I learned "Jenny Lind Mania", I named my newly-rescued cat "Lindy", in part, due to one of the song's verses....."My wife's a slave to fashion, against it never sinned, our baby and the kitten are called after Jenny Lind."

Comment by Al Smitley on August 19, 2013 at 3:24pm

Here's a somewhat simplified TAB of Jenny Lind Polka.  You can add a bunch of triplets if you are inclined.

Comment by Al Smitley on August 19, 2013 at 3:26pm

And.....here is "Lindy".  She loves my cittern case, a perfect fit!

Comment by Ian Bell on August 19, 2013 at 7:27pm
Great tune! (Jenny Lind) Still a staple in the old-time Ontario repertoire. We always used to play it for the "Heel & Toe Polka" - at least we did back in the dark ages (the 70's and 80s) when people would still occasionally ask for such things. Now that I think of it - nobody's asked for a while...Hmmmm....
Comment by Strumelia on August 19, 2013 at 8:28pm

Al, that Lindy is a perfect gem!   :)

Comment by Al Smitley on August 19, 2013 at 8:36pm

For the most part, she is but, like all of us, she has a quirk or two.

But she's here to stay!

Comment by Strumelia on August 19, 2013 at 8:53pm

Sorry to veer off topic, but i just gotta show Al my "Boy Boy" (officially named Little Satchel after the old ballad)...bet he and Lindy would hit it off...lol...

Comment by Wes Merchant on August 20, 2013 at 4:58am
I too have a creamsicle cat! I've danced and taught the Heel and Toe Polka to this tune as well, I'm sure I've seen the tune simply called "Heel and Toe". I really like this old stuff, pity it has fallen out of favor in the dance community.
Comment by Strumelia on August 20, 2013 at 9:46am

Wes, I am positive that some of the more old fashioned dancers will be coming back into favor.  There has been a growing number of young hipster types coming into the old-time music scene, complete with 'old timey' clothes and fedoras... singing and playing to replicate the old 78's and ballads, bringing their cellos, tubas, full size accordions and little pump organs to old-time festivals, contra and square dances.  They are avidly exploring and incorporating everything old and obscure, and they'll be searching back in time until they get to the early 1800's.  They'll be singing, dancing, playing bones and tambos....the Choc Drops have opened the floodgates.   :)

But it's a two edged thing- we'll have to expect that some of them will be participating by playing minstrel repertoire on trombones, snare drum sets, ukes, and yoga harmoniums.  It'll be morphing into a new scene and all of us over-50 crowd will be the Old Geezers.  It will make for some interesting interactions and adjustments, perhaps some re-thinking...much as has been the case in the old-time music community over the past ten years.   ;)


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