“Waltzing Matilda” is not a Waltz – National Poetry Month day 6 with Sonya Rhen

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Welcome to National Poetry Month day six.  It is the start of week two and we have the following poets this week; Sonya Rhen, J.D. Brink, Jakub Sofranko, Roderick Hart, Casi Thomason, and P.F. Chan.

Today is Waltzing Matilda Day, the anniversary of its first performance.  Happy Waltzing Matilda Day!  Today’s poet is ME!  Hello all!

I originally had planned this as a regular blog post.  I particularly wanted to post it on this day.  I have included one of my poems from “Requite Me: Poems of Love, Jelousy and Angst”.  I’m sure this poem was inspired by the song “Silhouettes on the Shade” by The Rays.  Following the poem are my blogging thoughts on rhythm and waltzing as most of my blogs have something to do with music.  Enjoy!

 

Requite Me Front green

Last Dance
.
I looked at him from across the room
As a smile began to capture me.
I slowly turned my eyes away
Remembering what we used to be.

.
I don’t know if he saw me then.
It didn’t look that way,
But if he did it might just be
He couldn’t find the words to say.

.
I looked again and our eyes met.
We couldn’t look away.
He got up and asked me to dance
As the music began to play.

.
The days go on and we’re dancing still.
The music never fades.
To everyone who passes by
We’re just shadows on the shades.

By Sonya Rhen

 

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I have been thinking a lot about music, rhythms and melodies. What makes one piece of music enjoyable to an individual over another piece of music? Why don’t all people like the same thing? My husband and I like many similar bands and types of music, but not all. Things he loves, I sometimes don’t. My tastes run more eclectic than most, so he often doesn’t like things that I enjoy. The way we listen is different as well. I can listen to the same song over and over again until it sinks into my pores. He prefers to listen once and move on to another song or cd.

 

I wonder if there is something innate in all of us that makes us like the things we do, or is it experience, possibly a combination of both? Can we learn to like something? Certainly, I think there is an element of conditioning. Sometimes I will hear a piece of music or song that doesn’t move me at any level. However, after repeated exposure, I may find that I love that song. It can go the other way as well, where you hear something too often and grow tired of it. Sometimes you hear something you love and you simply can’t get enough of it. It is love at first listen. This music seems to fill your heart and soul every time you hear it.

 

There is something about waltzes that I simply love. When I hear a waltz, I want to get up and dance. Something in the 3/4 rhythm, the “boom, chink, chink,” makes me feel happy. I wonder if there is a physical reason why this pattern resonates so strongly with me. But it’s not just me. Apparently, Everybody Loves a Waltz.

 

 

I went to the internet to look up Waltzing Matilda and thought I would waltz with my daughter. Imagine my surprise to find that Waltzing Matilda is not in fact an actual waltz. The rhythm is in 4/4 and it has a meaning of walking around with a bag slung over your back rather than of dancing. While Waltzing Matilda is a fine folk song, this was not what I was looking for.

 

To many of you waltzing may conjure up images of old fashioned ballroom dancing, you may be surprised to find that a lot of modern day pop/rock songs are waltzes. Here are some examples of waltzes that I have in my music collection. I can recommend all these albums and if you love Christmas music the Cyndi Lauper is a must have! You may recognize some of these.

 

Vince Guaraldi Trio – Great Pumpkin Waltz (From the Charlie Brown’s Holiday Hits)

Aimee Mann – Nothing is Good Enough (From Bachelor No. 2)

Elliot Smith – Waltz #2 (XO) and Waltz #1 (From XO)

Stars – What the Snowman Learned about Love (From Heart)

Cyndi Lauper – Minnie and Santa and New Year’s Baby (From Merry Christmas… Have a Nice Life!)

While I don’t have this CD – Midsomer Murders theme song may be the only waltz played on the Theremin.

 

So as I waltz off into the sunset, I leave you with this question. Do you have a favorite waltz?

 

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I like the poem.

    Reply

  2. Thanks, Rod!

    Reply

  3. Love the poem and the waltz list. A waltz played on Theremin? Nice!!

    Reply

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