Valse à Napoleon (1)

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VALSE À NAPOLEON [1] (Napoleon's Waltz). Cajun, Waltz and Two-Step. USA, Louisiana. C Major ('A' part) & G Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Francois' source, Cajun fiddler Dennis McGee, claims the tune was played by a general in response to part of the last request of a condemned soldier by the name of Guilbeau. Just before being executed by a firing squad Guilbeau asked to play the fiddle and speak. The request being granted and handcuffs removed, he proceeded to play "Guilbeau's Waltz" and when he was done he asked the general to play a tune, "Napoleon's Waltz." McGee believes this incident happened during the Civil War. See also "Guilbeau's Waltz" and also tunes with similar "condemned fiddler" legends attached: "Camp Chase (2)," "MacPherson's Lament," "Last of Callahan."

Source for notated version: Dennis McGee (1893-1989, Eunice, La.) [Francois].

Dennis McGee

Printed sources: Francois (Yé Yaille, Chère!), 1990; p. 235.

Recorded sources: Swallow Records SW-6030, Dennis McGee & Sady Courville – "La vieille musique Acadien" (1977).




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