Michael Turner's Waltz
Back to Michael Turner's Waltz
MICHAEL TURNER'S WALTZ. AKA - "Sussex Waltz." English, Waltz. England, Sussex. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). Paul Davenport (English Dance and Song, 2003) identified this unnamed tune as derived from a portion of a 1788 suite by none-other than Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, contained in Austrian Dances KV 536 No. 2 (the second, or trio part) in G Major. The English waltz version is credited to Michael Turner  (1796-1885), who adapted the melody and set it down in his 1842-52 manuscript, though it is clearly based on the Mozart original. It was also published in Canfield's Choice Collection of Flute Melodies (1823), according to Barry Callaghan (2007). Turner was for fifty years a Parish Clerk, Sexton and choir leader of a church in Warnham, Sussex. His gravestone reads:
His duty done, beneath this stone
Old Michael lies at rest
His rustic rig, his song, his jig
Were ever of the best.
With nodding head the choir he led
That none should start too soon,
The second he sang full true
His viol played the tune
And when at last his age had passed
One hundred-less eleven,
With faithful cling to fiddle string
He sang himself to heaven.
Dave Shepherd, fiddle player for the group Blowzabella, came up with a setting of "Michael Turner's Waltz" in 5/4 time. The melody was employed as the air for a hymn in America, called "When He Cometh."
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Callaghan (Hardcore English), 2007; p. 85. Loughran & Gammon (A Sussex Tune Book).
Recorded sources: Pukka Records YOP 04, The Oyster Band - "Lie Back and Think of England" (198?. Learned from Eddie Upton who had it from Vic Gammon who had it, untitled, from Turner's fiddler's manuscripts). Eliza Carthy & Nancy Kerr - "Shape of Scrape." Wild Goose WGS 313, Dave Arthur - "Return Journey."
See also listing at:
Hear/see the waltz played by melodeon player Martin Ellison on youtube.com