Poor Girl's Waltz

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POOR GIRL'S WALTZ. AKA - "Poor Girl Waltz." American, Canadian; Waltz (3/4 time). USA, New England. The waltz was recorded in May, 1929, for Brunswick Records by fiddler Reese Jarvis (1900-1967, Clendenin, West Virginia) and guitarist Dick Justice (1906-1962) in Chicago, Illinois. The tune begins with the waltz, with Justice directing, "Court your girls, boys," only to switch to the uptempo "Turkey in the Straw" for one strain, with Justice interjecting, "All dance." "Now court em' again," he says as the duo return to the waltz melody, then finally another shift in tempo and the redirection, "Dance again!"

"Poor Girl's Waltz" was also in the repertoire of Canadian radio and TV fiddler Don Messer (1908-1973) and his band, who recorded it twice (for the Apex and Rodeo-Banff labels) in the mid-20th century. It was picked up from these recordings by Clem Myers and other New England fiddlers. The tune has breached all regional boundaries in North America, however, and can be heard played by Metis fiddlers in western Canada (the composition is sometimes erroneously credited to fiddler Andy DeJarlis, who recorded it in 1964), and Texas-style and contest fiddlers in the United States.

Source for notated version: Clem Myers [Phillips].

Printed sources: DeJarlis (Canadian fiddle tunes from the Red River Valley), 1958. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes, vol. 2), 1995; p. 296.

Recorded sources: Apex AL 1641, "Don Messer's House Party" (1966). Banff RLP 38, Don Messer and His Islanders - "25th Anniversary Album" (1958). Brunswick 333 (78 RPM), Reese Jarvis & Dick Justice (1929). Document DOCD-8004, Dick Justice - "Williamson Brothers and Curry, Frank Hutchison, Dick Justice: Old-Time Music from West Virginia" (1997). London EB 45, Andy Dejarlis and His Early Settlers - "Original Old-Time Music" (1964. Credited to "Traditional"). Slow Cooker Music, Shane Cook - "Shane Cook" (2005).

See also listing at:
Hear Reese & Jarvis's 1929 recording on youtube.com [1]
Hear/see the tune played by Asa Martin (guitar) and Columbus Williams (fiddle) in a 1977 performance at Berea College [2]

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