Life Let Us Cherish

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X:1 T:Life let us Cherish M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air Q:”Andante” B:William Cahusac – The German Flute Preceptor (c. 1814, p. 26) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:D V:1 f3 {a}(gf)g|(a2d') d'2A|d2d {ef}(ed)e|(fg)f e2z| f3 {a}(gf)g|(a2d') d'2 A/d/|f3 (ed)e|d3 z3!fermata!:| a|a2g (ef)g|a2f d2a|a2g (ef)g|a2f d2a| b2g d'2d'|a2f d'2d'|(ab)a (ag)f|(f3 e2)!D.C.!|| V:2 d3 {f}(ed)e|f2f f2A|F2F A2A|(de)d A2z| d3 {f}(ed)e|f3-f3|A3 (GF)G|F3 z3!fermata!:| A|A2B (cd)e|f2d d2A|A2B (cd)e|d2A F2F| G2A B2 B/c/|d2A F2D|(FA)F (FE)D|A3-A2!D.C.!||



LIFE LET US CHERISH. AKA and see "Butterfly Waltz." Scottish, English, American; Air and Waltz. Standard tuning (fiddler). G Major (Ashman, Colclough, Kerr): C Major (Howe): D Major (Cahusac, Silberberg). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Silberberg): AAB: AABB (Cahusac). The melody was originally a song air called "Freut euch des Lebens" (Come Let Us be Joyful), composed in Switzerland in 1795 by Hans Georg Nägeli with words by poet Johann Martin Usteri (1763-1827). It was adapted in English as "Life Let Us Cherish" and became an enormously popular air in Britain and America, where it served as a waltz (see "Butterfly Waltz") as well as an air, and was the tune usually used for the Basket figure of the popular quadrille or square dance.

Life let us cherish while yet the taper glows,
And the fresh flower pluck ere it close;
Why are ye fond of toil and care,
Why choose the rankling torn to wear,
And heedless by the lily stray,
Which blossoms in our way.

The air was entered into many 19th century musicians' manuscript collections, including those of multi-instrumentalist John Rook (1840, Waverton, Cumbria), James Winder (Lancashire, 1835-41), Eben and William Irving (Middletown, N.Y.), and George White (Cherry Valley, N.Y.).


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - a c. 1837-1840 MS by Shropshire musician John Moore [Ashman].

Printed sources : - Ashman (The Ironbridge Hornpipe), 1991; No. 111b, p. 46. William Cahusac (The German Flute Preceptor), c. 1814; p. 26. Colclough (Tutor for the Irish Union Pipes), c. 1830; p. 12. Howe (Complete Preceptor for the Accordeon), 1843; p. 6. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 3), c. 1880's; No. 291, p. 32. Silberberg (93 Fiddle Tunes I Didn't Learn at the Tractor Tavern), 2004; p. 26.

Recorded sources : - Voyager 358, New Columbia Fiddlers - "Fiddle Tunes of the Lewis and Clark Era" (2002. Appears as "Freut Euch des Lebens"). Voyager 353, Billy Lee - "Up Jumped the Devil"




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