Blackhawk Waltz (The)
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BLACKHAWK WALTZ, THE. American, Waltz. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The original "Black Hawk Waltz" was composed by Mary E. Walsh (about whom nothing is known) and published in 1897. It was a very popular piece not only for listening and dancing, but for teaching (especially by piano teachers, as an elementary piece). Most sheet music covers feature a Native American theme, as the title honors the famed Chief Black Hawk (1767–1838), who gave his name to the conflict with Native Americans of 1832 (the only military combat experience of Abraham Lincoln), as the United States sought to evict the Sac and Fox tribes from the Illinois territory. As with most such conflicts it ended with the near-slaughter of the Indians, although Black Hawk himself survived imprisonment to return in 1833 to the remnants of his people who had been removed to Iowa. A huge statue was erected to him in 1911 near Oregon, Ill.
Source for notated version: Herman Johnson [Phillips].
Printed source: Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1995; p. 239.
Recorded sources: Folkways FW8827, Arbuckle, Mikkelson & Clifton - "Old Time Couple Dances" (1961). Rural Rhythm Records, Vassar Clements - "20 Fiddle Tunes and Waltz Favorites" (1998).