Jessie polka

Jessie has been added to 4 tunebooks.

Download ABC

One setting

X: 1
T: Jessie
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
|:B2ce | d2^cd | gd^cd | fe^de | a2ge | g2fe | fedc | ed^c=c |
B2ce | d2^cd | gg/g/ ab | ae^de |agfd | gd^cd | edcA |1 G2GA:|2 G2Bd |
|:e2g2 | d2^cd | fdcA | edBG | e2g2 | d2^cd | fdcA | G2Bd |
e2g2 | d2^cd | fdcA | edBG | e2g2 | d2^cd | fdcA | G2G2 :|
|G4- | GEFG | A4- | AFGA | B2B2 | A2B2 | A2G2- | GEF^F |
G4- | GcB_B | A4- | Ad^c=c | B2G2 | e2d2 | c2GA/B/ | c2c2 |
G2EF | GcB_B | A2FG | Ad^c=c | B2B2 | A2B2 | AGG2- | GEF^F |
G2EF| GcB_B | A2FG | Ad^c=c | B2G2 | e2d2 | c2GA/B/ | c2c2 ||

Two comments


A tune from the playing of Pennsylvania fiddler Jehile Kirkhuff, original recording may be heard here: I was first interested in Jehile when I was in a CD trading group, this one had him listed along with Tom Standeven, a well known piper/fiddler/fluter. He indeed played pipes and flute on a few tracks of the CD but mostly backed up Jehile on the piano. Jehile’s music was very nice, he played a lot of hornpipes/jigs/reels like us Irish musicians, along with more old time material, and all American numbers such as waltzes and barndances.

A fellow even wrote a biography of Jehile, which documents how he travelled to Texas in the 1950s and won the World Fiddling Championship, which was perhaps when he learned this tune, as according to the Fiddler’s Companion:

JESSIE POLKA. AKA and see "Jesusita en Chihuahua." Mexican, American; Polka. USA; Texas, New Mexico. G Major (‘A’ part) & D Major (‘B’ part) {Miller & Perron}: G Major (‘A’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ parts), C Major (‘B’ part) & D Major (‘E’ part). Standard tuning (fiddle). ABB (Miller & Perron): AA’BB’CCDEE (Phillips). A Texas tune called the "Jesse Polka" had an interesting history. It originally derived from a Mexican tune called "Jesusita en Chihuahua," which became known as the "J.C. Polka" and thence to "Jesse Polka." "Jesusita en Chihuahua" is a song that has its origins in the Mexican Revolution of 1912. The words tell the story of a soldadera, the name given to women campfollowers who tended to the daily needs of the revolutionary fighters, and even in desperate situations took up arms themselves to fight alongside the men. A Mexican anthem, originally composed in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution in 1912. ‘Jesusita’ is the female personification of Jesus, while Chihuahua is a state in Mexico. "Jessie Polka’s" popularity stemmed from its being played from 1938 on by Cliff Bruner and the Texas Wanderers, a Texas Swing band that, although they did not tour much outside of Texas, was nevertheless an influential regional band. Apparently, Bruner learned the melody as a child from Mexican farm workers in the Beaumont area of Texas (Bruner died in Houston in the year 2000 at age 85). It is a melody played today by school mariachi bands (around Tuscon, for example). The alternate title, "Jesse Polka," may be related to the fact that Jesus was the seed of Jesse. According to Ned Kartchner Lawrence Welk played the song and called it the "Cactus Polka." The tune features plucked (pizzicato) parts. It is used sometimes, according to Yankee Ingenuity, for the dance "The Jesse Polka." That site has the more elaborate version generally played, and there are even more fancy settings out there too. Jehile’s setting seems to be unique to him. Here are Mark O’Connor and Phil Cunningham playing it:

Transcription comment

Thanks for posting this nice version. In the A part, I hear him play measures 14/15 as |gdBc|dcBA |