X:1 T:Zenda! C:Frank M. Witmark, lyric by Hattie Anderson, c. 1895 M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Waltz-Song K:F z2!fermata!f3e|d6-|d2 c3A|F6-|F2 F3 A|c6|c6| c6-|c2 f3e|d6-|d2 c3B|E6-|E2 E3G| c6| c6|c6-|c2 f3e|d6-|d2 c3A|F6-| F2 F3A|d6|c6|B6-|B2 A2 B2|f4 B2|e4 d2| c4 F2|B4 A2|A3G ^FG|A3G EC|F6-|F2 F2^F2|| K:Bb G6-|G2 G2d2|F6-|F2 F2^F2|G6|D6| F6-|F4 z2|(e2d2) c2|=B4 c2|d4 f2| e4 d2|d6|c4B2|(A2c2)g2|f2F2^F2| (G6|G2) G2d2|F6-|F2 d2d2|d2^c2d2| g4 f2|e6-|e2 z2z2|B2A2B2|c4 ^c2| d4 f2|e4 d2|G6|A4 A2|B6-|B2 z2z2|| K:Gmin z2 F2^F2||G6-|G2 G2d2|F6-|F2 F2^F2|G6| d4d2|f6-|f4 z2|e2d2c2|=B4 c2|d4 f2| e4d2|d6|c4 B2|(A2C2)E2|A2G2F2| F2 FF FF|F2G2^G2|A6-|A2 A2A2|A6 |=B2B2B2|c2z2z2|c2c2c2|c6-|c2!fermata!f3d|| K:F d6-|d2 c3A|F6-|F2 F3A|c6|c6|c6-|c2 f3e| d6-|d2 c3B|E6-|E2 E3G|c6|c6|c6-|c2f3d| d6-|d2 c3A|F6-|F2 F3A|d6|c6|B6-|B2 (A2B2)| f4 B2|e4d2|c4 F2|B6A2|(A3G) (^FG)|(A3G) (EC)| F2z2z2|z6|f2f4|f2 f4|a6-|a6-|a2 z2z2|z6||
“...composed by Frank M. Witmark around 1896. It was written as incidental music for a stage version of the hit novel The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), an adventure set in the imaginary Balkan kingdom of Zenda. Anyhow, I know it as the theme song of magician Howard Thurston, a very big star in his time (~1910-1930). For decades after his passing, at magicians' gatherings, if somebody was demonstrating an especially show-bizzy sort of trick one of the onlookers was sure to start humming "Zenda Waltzes". I'm guessing it became known among traditional musicians via Thurston, who toured the country on a grand scale (ten freight cars worth of props & scenery in his prime). Although obviously it stands on its own merits now. Might be interesting to see how the folk process has changed it over the years.”
See "La Zinda Waltz" by fiddler Johnny Gimble and others for 20th century country music versions.