Annotation:Ripple (The)

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X:1 T: The Ripple N:From "Mellie Dunham's Fiddlin' Dance Tunes," 1926 C: M:3/4 K:G d>d B>B G>G|F>GA2A2|e>e c>c A>A|G>AB2B2|d>d B>B G>G| F>GA2A2|F>e d>F B>A|G2G2z2!fine!y||F>GA2A2|G>AB2B2| ^c>de2e2|f>dA2A2|F>GA2A2|G>AB2B2|^c2f2e2|d2d2z2!D.C.!y|]

RIPPLE, THE. American, Dance Tune (2/4 time). "The Ripple" was a latter 19th century dance that Henry Ford attempted to revive in the 1920's as a more appropriate alternative to jazz and the new dances of that era. However, The Ripple had been just as scandalous to a former generation than the gyrations of the 'flappers' were to Ford. D.C. Page, in an address before the St. Joseph County (Michigan) Pioneer Society in 1882 asked:

What do you think the [pioneer]...would say were he to attend a modern ball of to-day, and see the youngsters dancing the ripple? I suppose they call it the ripple because it makes one ripple all over with laughter to see them scull around the ball-room in all sorts of inhuman shapes and figures which are called graceful." ....[quoted from Gifford,"Henry Ford's Dance Revival and Fiddle Contests", Journal for the Society for American Music, vol. 4, No. 3, 2010].

The Ripple was a variation of another dance, The Newport (likely named for Newport, Rhode Island, a popular vacation spot for the wealthy in the late 19th century), created by Russ B. Walker of Boston. The Ripple is categorized as a Redowa or Mazurka. The title appears in a repertoire list of Maine fiddler Mellie Dunham. The elderly Dunham was touted as Henry Ford's champion fiddler in the late 1920's[1].

Additional notes

Recorded sources : - Victor 19907-B, Henry Ford's Old-Time Dance Orchestra (1925).

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  1. There is scant evidence that Ford himself ever promoted fiddle contests, although fiddle contests were sponsored by Ford dealerships. Ford's interest was in fostering a return to 'wholesome' social dancing, and engaged fiddlers for that purpose.