The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31115   Message #403377
Posted By: Bob Bolton
21-Feb-01 - 09:54 PM
Thread Name: Name of the tune in 'Seige of Innis'?
Subject: RE: Name of the tune in 'Seige of Innis'?
G'day Len Wallace,

Just to fill in the other bit of your request, Varsovienne is a dance from the 19th century - in 3/4, but with all sorts of internal and external rhytms that have no relation to the waltz. the French gave the dance the name Varsovienne, (Lady) from Warsaw, in their enthusiasm for fellow revolutionaries ... but the dance is probably Swedish (the Swedes have the best, most complex and oldest versions).

There is no single tune for it - certainly, scores of varso tunes have been collected here in Australia, where the dance was very popular and still survives as a fondly recalled dance in country areas. The tunes have a distinct A part and B part, but you can get an idea of the rhythm if you realise that Happy Birthday is a typical varso A part.

I did hear on a Radio Telefis Eirran program on old players and the early phonograph that some Irish fiddle players were asked for a Varsovienne by a record producer ... and they did scrape up the only one they knew in Ireland: called something like Kick the Donkey. I would have to check back to my tapes for the correct name, but it appears to be the one and only Irish varsovienne. (I know that the Scots also seem to have only one varsovienne: La Va.)

Regards,

Bob Bolton