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The Tennis -y Waltz

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TENNESSEE WALTZ


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Tennessee Waltz (15)
Obit: Frank "Pee Wee" King - Mar 2000 (5)


leeneia 20 Jul 06 - 09:55 AM
number 6 20 Jul 06 - 09:59 AM
leeneia 20 Jul 06 - 10:05 AM
number 6 20 Jul 06 - 10:09 AM
SharonA 20 Jul 06 - 10:47 AM
leeneia 20 Jul 06 - 12:56 PM
number 6 20 Jul 06 - 01:08 PM
Pauline L 20 Jul 06 - 01:45 PM
number 6 20 Jul 06 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Jim 20 Jul 06 - 02:54 PM
Helen 20 Jul 06 - 05:04 PM
Kaleea 20 Jul 06 - 08:11 PM
number 6 20 Jul 06 - 08:28 PM
Barry Finn 20 Jul 06 - 09:13 PM
Louie Roy 20 Jul 06 - 09:49 PM
number 6 20 Jul 06 - 10:32 PM
leeneia 21 Jul 06 - 12:23 AM
leeneia 21 Jul 06 - 12:24 AM
Richard Brandenburg 21 Jul 06 - 03:14 AM
leeneia 21 Jul 06 - 11:47 AM
Kaleea 21 Jul 06 - 01:50 PM
Cool Beans 21 Jul 06 - 05:11 PM
number 6 21 Jul 06 - 06:34 PM
leeneia 21 Jul 06 - 11:02 PM
Ron Davies 21 Jul 06 - 11:54 PM
Sorcha 22 Jul 06 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,Jim 22 Jul 06 - 11:24 AM
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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: TENNESSEE WALTZ
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 09:55 AM

I'm always trying to think of good tunes to play on my fretted dulcimer, and lately I thought, "Why not the Tennessee Waltz?" So I tried it and thought, "Good grief! That song's got a range!" It's an octave plus a fifth, unusually big for a vocal number.

I've always thought it was kind of ugly, actually. One thing ugly about it is when people sing "to the Ten NES-see Waltz" in the first line. That increases the range from octave + third to octave + fifth, usually guaranteeing a high-pitched squeak. It also converts the measure from the Tennessee Waltz to the Tennessee Mazurka. (A mazurka is in 3/4 but has the accent on count 2 or 3.)

Meanwhile, I have a sister-in-law from Tennessee. She is an authentic Tennessean, not just somebody who went there to buy a condo. How authentic is she?

She is so Tennessean that if somebody said to her, "You g*d*amn idiot why the f*ck can't you fix that fr*gging thing?" she would say that that person blessed her out.

She taught me "I'll Fly Away" and "To Canaan's Land" years before the folk clubs heard of them. Also, her family had 80-foot magnolia trees in the pasture.

Finally, (to get back to the song) she pronounces Tennessee with the accent on the first syllable. Where I come from, it rhymes with Hennessey, but in case says that in Wales, Hennessey is pronounced Hen-NESS-y, let's say that if you take "tennis" and add a softly- spoken long e at the end, you've got it.

Now take that pronunciation and plug it into the Tennessee Waltz, and the tune stops limping. The Tenn gets a dotted quarter, the nes is a mere eighth (same pitch as Tenn, not a high squeak), and ee gets a quarter. Then you can repeat this pattern at other places in the song (such as beaut-i-ful Ten-nes-see as the end)to make it pleasing to yourself. It's just folk process.

I searched for a MIDI of this tune and found quite a few. But Lord, what a plinking of mandolin strings and what a plethora of self-pitying dissonances. The tune came on the radio in 1950, (sung by somebody from Oklahoma) and 1950 was still the big band era. So I sat down at the piano and came up with the following:

TENNESSEE WALTZ
      C                              C-higher F
I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz,

       C                        G plus note A
When an old friend I happened to see.

    C   
Introduced him to my loved one,

    C-higher       Am
And while they were waltzing,

   C               Dm             C
My friend stole my sweetheart from me.

    C high    G             Dm       C
I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz.

      Am                        G
Now I know just how much I have lost.

       C   
Yes, I lost my little darlin'

    Am             F
The night they were playin'

C             Dm       C
That beautiful Tennessee Waltz.
-------------------------------------
Then you repeat the second half, but you change the chords
----------------------------------------
    C high    Dm/A          Dm       Em
I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz.

      Am                        G plus note A
Now I know just how much I have lost.

       C   
Yes, I lost my little darlin'

    Am             F
The night they were playin'

C             Dm       C plus note A
That beautiful Tennessee Waltz.
-------
When I say "G plus note A," that means make up a little tune (bass run)using those notes. I don't suggest whacking them all at once.

Throwing an A into the last C chord makes it sound modern and also signals to the dancers that the dance is over. I like it.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: number 6
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 09:59 AM

One of my favourites, and enjoy playing it ... overall I prefer Leonard Cohen's version.

sIx


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 10:05 AM

Leonard Cohen, the Canadian? How did he pronounce "Tennessee"?


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: number 6
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 10:09 AM

Yes ... Leonard Cohen the Canadian ...

he pronounced "Tennessee" as Tennessee but in D7.


sIx


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: SharonA
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 10:47 AM

I've never heard anyone sing it as "the ten-NES-see waltz". Leeneia, where are you hearing this pronunciation (what part of the country)?

Usually I hear it sung with only a slight emphasis on the "TEN" and with each syllable on the beat (no syncopation):

1 - 2 - 3
ten-nes-see

---------------------------------------

Q: What did Tennessee? (tenna see)
A: She saw what Arkansas! (Arkan saw)


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 12:56 PM

Go to this site:

http://www.midistudio.com/midi/DC_SZ.htm

Click on Tennessee Waltz, wait through the introduction, and you will hear what I've often heard over the ages. I don't think that my own particular region matters, since the music on the radio and TV is rarely regional.

I've been singing this song about the house, and I think that the real reason to sing it is so you can "lie down" in the first occurence of the word "night". That note just begs to be infused with meloncholy. While you are singing it, think about a leafy hollow where moonlight gleams on the pale aronatis.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: number 6
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 01:08 PM

I don't hear singing in that ... regardless, one can sing it the way they want.

sIx


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Pauline L
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 01:45 PM

I love the version by the Chieftains on The Long Black Veil. I just love playing waltzes in general.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: number 6
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 01:55 PM

'love playing waltzes" .... I agree Pauline.

sIx


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 02:54 PM

My favourite version is David Bromberg's. It had a great guitar solo and a super mandolin solo (I think it was Andy Statman)


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Helen
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 05:04 PM

A long time ago I started a Mudcat thread Tennessee Waltz/Rose of Tralee about the way Tennessee Waltz and The Rose of Tralee sort of flow together if you think of them as a medley or of variations on a theme.

For example if you sang the first verse of TW and then the chorus of the RoT the melodies seem to flow together:

The Rose of Tralee

The pale moon was rising above yon green mountain,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea,
When I strayed with my love to the pure crystal fountain,
That stands in the beautiful vale of Tralee.

Chorus:
She was lovely and fair, as the rose of the summer,
Yet t'was not her beauty alone that won me.
Oh no, t'was the truth in her eye ever dawning,
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee!

2. The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,
And Mary, all smiling, stood list'ning to me,
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding,
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.
Chorus:

And, do you see that?

leeneia said: While you are singing it [TW], think about a leafy hollow where moonlight gleams on the pale aronatis.

Rose of Tralee, last verse:

"The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding,
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee."


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Kaleea
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 08:11 PM

Could the "somebody from Oklahoma" have been Patti Page? It was a big hit for her.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: number 6
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 08:28 PM

It was Kaleea ... who was the female Les Paul recorded it with?

sIx


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 09:13 PM

Thanks for starting this thread leeneia. This has always been a favorite of mine to, love to sing it. After being reminded of it (thank you) I'll have to start doing it again. I never thought of it as a limping, ugly or whining song, always as beautiful & bold. Like after introducing my beau to you, you took him away you f%$#@king asshole, keep him the song's far better than he'll ever be, anyway. I grew up listening to Patti Page sing this & Old Cape Cod, still love them both.

Barry


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Louie Roy
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 09:49 PM

Leeneia,the only comment I'll make is if you tried to back up a country western fiddler with your chord configuration on a guitar he'd beat you over the head with his bow and chase you out of town.I've been playing and singing this song for at least 50 years and I can't make these chords fit the song I know with Patti Page and other of that era


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: number 6
Date: 20 Jul 06 - 10:32 PM

For those that would be interested, Leonard Cohen added the following verse to his version of the song .....

She comes dancing through the darkness
To the Tennessee Waltz
And I feel like I'm falling apart
And it's stronger than drink
And it's deeper than sorrow
This darkness she's left in my heart.


I think it adds a good perspective to the song.

sIx


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 12:23 AM

Well, Louie, all I can tell you is that it works on the piano. The first time I tried that C plus A combination at the end, I saw the dance hall and the bar and smelled the tobacco smoke.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 12:24 AM

Back again. yes, it was Patti Page. Wikipedia has an article about her.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Richard Brandenburg
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 03:14 AM

Thanks, sIx, for mentioning the great Leonard Cohen verse. It throws around shadows that the melody can certainly bear.

And a seldom sung second verse by the original writers Pee Wee Reese and Redd Steward is also worth a mention:

I wonder how a dance like the Tennessee Waltz
Could have broken my heart so complete
I couldn't blame my darling
For who could help falling
In love with my darling so sweet

It must be the fault of the Tennessee Waltz
Wish I'd known just how much it would cost
I didn't see it coming
It's all over but the crying
Blame it all on the Tennessee Waltz

Personally, I've always thought that the "friend" got off easy.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 11:47 AM

Thanks, Richard. I've often wondered how the friend could be so fast-acting, stealing somebody's sweetheart during a song which has only one verse.

Of course, it's possible that she said something like, "I worshipped you from afar all through high school. My uncle just died and left me a million dollars. Why don't you give up your job in the poultry factory and see the world with me?"

Little did he suspect that she would expect him to carry her suitcase.
--------
This discussion would not be complete without reference to the Berrymans' song "Cheatin," which is possibly the world's first metametawaltz.

"He saw that truck at the motel (stress on first syllable of "motel")
The name they given was false.
He saw through the window that had nothing on
except for the Tennessee Waltz."


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Kaleea
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 01:50 PM

6--Mary Ford sang it on their recording with Les Paul. I have, however, a memory of hearing him play it alone, and can't recall if it was on TV show or a recording I once heard.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Cool Beans
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 05:11 PM

And then there's Jesse Winchester's "Brand New Tennessee Waltz," another lovely song.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: number 6
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 06:34 PM

That is one very lovely song by Jesse "Brand New Tennessee Waltz"

thanks for mentioneing it Beans.

Kaleea ... Mary Ford ... much thanks

sIx


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 11:02 PM

I accidentaly ignored Helen's posts about the Rose of Tralee. Helen, if you are still with us, I've listened to it, and I see what you mean. There's a similarity.

Anybody who wants to listen can go to

http://members.tripod.com/scott_mcgonigle/midis.htm

search for Rose of Tralee and click.

Now to look for this "Brand New TN Waltz"


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Ron Davies
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 11:54 PM

Don't forget this verse of "Tennessee Waltz"--thought I'd got it from Bill D--but he says no.

I was dancing with my darlin' to the Tennessee Waltz
At the annual Firemans' Ball
And the people they were staring because she was wearin'
A newspaper dress--and that's all.
She had comic strips from her knees to her hips
Where the want ads were, I can't recall
Then her dress caught on fire and burned her entire
Front page, sports section, and all.


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Subject: RE: The Tennis -y Waltz
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 12:43 AM

So, how come none of you Late Niters are Chatters???????


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: TENNESSEE WALTZ
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 22 Jul 06 - 11:24 AM

I think of this as a "3 chord special" except for the E7 in the B part. I play it in G in order to be able to sing. I think this is correct, but it's hard to be sure when I don't have a guitar handy.

TENNESSEE WALTZ
      C                                        F
I was dancing with my darling to the Tennessee Waltz,

       C                         G
When an old friend I happened to see.

      C   
Introduced him to my loved one,

                     F
And while they were waltzing,

   C                G             C
My friend stole my sweetheart from me.

    C          E7            F         C
I remember the night and the Tennessee Waltz.

                                 G
Now I know just how much I have lost.

       C   
Yes, I lost my little darlin'

                     F
The night they were playin'

C               G         C
That beautiful Tennessee Waltz.


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