The Cherry Blossom polka

Also known as Sakura, Sakura Zensen.

There are 8 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Cherry Blossom has been added to 15 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: The Cherry Blossom
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: F/E/ |DF FE/D/ | GB B>c | dA dA | e/d/c/B/ A/G/F/E/ |
DF FE/D/ | GB B>c | dA c/d/e/c/ | df d :|
|: A/c/ |{de}dc/d/ eA | dc/d/ eA | d/e/=f fe | d/d/{ef}e/d/ _B2 |
A=F d_B | A/A/_B/A/ E2 | A/_B/A/=F/ {de}d_B | A_B/A/ E :|
X: 2
T: The Cherry Blossom
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: DF- FD | GB- Bc | d2 dc/d/ | e/d/c/B/ AF/E/ |
DF FE/D/ | G/A/B/c/ d>c | dA c/d/e | df d2 :|
|: dc/d/ eA | dc/d/ e2 | de =fe | de/d/ _B2 |
A=F d_B | A_B/A/ E2 | AA/=F/ d_B | A=F E2 :|
X: 3
T: The Cherry Blossom
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
|: E |DF FD | G2 B>c | dA/c/ d2 | ed/4c/4B/ AG/4F/4E/ |
D2 G/F/E/D/ | GB- B>c | dA c/d/e/c/ | df d :|
|: A |dc/d/ eA | dc/d/ e2 | de =fe | de/d/ _B2 |
A=F d_B | A_B/A/ E2 | AA/=F/ d_B | A=F E :|
X: 4
T: The Cherry Blossom
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
V:1
|:e2e2f4|e2e2f4|e2f2g2f2|e2 fe c4|
V:2
|:e2e2 fbgf|e2e2 fbgf|eBfB gBfB|eBfe cABc|
V:1
B2G2B2c2|B2 BG F4|e2f2g2f2|e2 fe c4||
V:2
BEGE BcBG|BcBG FAGF|zBfB gBfB|eBfe cABc||
V:1
|:B2G2B2c2|B2 BG F4|e2e2f4|e2e2f4|
V:2
|:BeGe Bece|BeBG FBBB|eBeg fbbb|eBeg fbbb|
V:1
B2c2 fe c2|B6 z2||
V:2
g2 e2 fe e2|G6 z2||
# Added by JACKB .

Twenty-four comments

‘West’ meets ‘East’?! ~

Alright, stop the sniggering, ‘slainte’ started this Japanese theme and the cherry and plum trees around here are full of blossom and I remembered this tune… It was the result of an attempt at ‘respect’ for a bunch of Japanese students of mine, way back when, music & dance… It was the only Japanese tune that came to mind at the time. It was to accompany a particular dance, the "Kickin’ Polka", and was part of a set of tunes that ‘possessed’ me at the time, as I was dancing and teaching this particular dance to this group of Japanese, lovely people…great craic… Hey, we had fun with it, and with the dance and dancers. What more can I ask, except ~ please, be civil about the outcome… ;-)

I’ll come back with the dance, or that is at least my intention… I did throw a few small ornaments into the mix of the tune above ~ { - } ~but you can leave them out and add your own…

I like it. Perhaps you should have called it "Sakura"

Oops!, I goofed ~

Wouldn’t you know it ~ I screwed up the lead-in and ending of the first part, and lead-in to the 2nd, now corrected in the ABC’s, but here it is bold faced and evidenced:

|: F/E/ |
DF FE/D/ | GB B>c | dA dA | e/d/c/B/ A/G/F/E/ |
DF FE/D/ | GB B>c | dA c/d/e/c/ | df d :|
|: A/c/ |

I like it Dafydd, Prunus serrulata…
( Japanese kanji: 桜 or 櫻; katakana: サクラ )

What about "sakuranbo"? ~ or "sakura zensen"?

Hmmm? That’s strange, I had the ‘E’ in the original notes but I guess the software made a correction since I’d forgotten to make those lead-in notes sixteenths, so, and that correction is made in the ABC’s, the final bar for the B-part should read:

| A_B/A/ E :| ~ or ~ | A=F E :|

With all that the least I can give you is an alternate ending…

“Sakura” ~

also the brand of Saki and other Japanese wines, one fortified Sherry like one in particular, I used to use for ‘cooking’…
;-) "Hick!"

Note: We’d also, occassionally, vary the B-part by syncopating it ~ but for the moment I’ll leave that up to the talents of anyone who decides to give this a try…

This really sounds Chinese to me. Mr. Dow would write a more Japanese sounding tune. And I haven’t learned half holing yet, so I can’t play the second part…

Yes you can, just leave out the notes you can’t play as ‘z’, and syncopate it around that, heh, heh… What do you mean Chinese? Now I’m mortified. Do you mean the A-part?

Dow play Japanese? That’ll be the day… And, besides, when did you last play Chinese? There is more of a gulf than the sea between your island and that mainland… ;-)

At least I like saki and dried cherries and plums and I know Mark is more particular. I even like that snake brew…

Chinese, it sounds Chinesey, like how? You can’t just drop a bomb like that and then sku away and hide under the sofa…

You’re playing too much Irish Hiro, get yourself a nice shakahachi…

So, do you know an Chinese polkas?

;-) )) )) )) ))~

I’m trying to make a Cheshire cat…

Did you mean to say it sounds ‘Cheshire’?

‘c’, I mean the second part! Actually, I only know a Chinese sounding Irish tune of Scottish origin. This is the one: https://thesession.org/tunes/3056

Well, I love my simple system Irish flute made in OZ. As I have mentioned somewhere, Shakuhachi has another meaning in Japanese, so I’d rather avoid it. Use your imagination, then you’ll see what I mean.

Wikipedia has it.

Shakuhachi ~

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakuhachi

I don’t care, someday… I have always wanted one, one of the lower frequency ones especially… I have loved the instrument since I first heard it as a kid. It mesmerized me. Sadly I haven’t even any music for it in amongst my recordings… Petatonic scales rock my soul…as do the various ‘oriental’/Asian scales I’ve occassionally been tickled with… I miss the Pacific isles too, where the sound first captivated me…

This calls for a bit of zen? ~

http://www.ashidakim.com/zenkoans/zenindex.html

32. Inch Time Foot Gem

A lord asked Takuan, a Zen Teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

69. Eating the Blame

Circumstances arose one day which delayed preparation of the dinner of a Soto Zen master, Fugai, and his followers. In haste the cook went to the garden with his curved knife and cut off the tops of green veetables, chopped them together, and made soup, unaware that in his haste he had included a part of a snake in the vegetables.

The followers of Fugai thought they had never tasted such great soup. But when the master himself found the snake’s head in his bowl, he summoned the cook. "What is this?" he demanded, holding up the head of the snake.

"Oh, thank you, master," replied the cook, taking the morsel and eating it quickly.

Haha, that’s a nice one. The very first one is also good. It’s called "A Cup of Tea"!!

“A Cup of Tea” ~ we will leave it there…

This is also one of my favourites, but I was worried that someone might take it wrongly, so, think of it as self-criticism, just so no one else thinks it applies to them, as if? ~ :-\

1. A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

What do you say to a Buddhist on their birthday?

Many happy returns!

“The Kickin’ Polka / Polkie” ~ as promised

Anyone familiar with ‘The Borlin Valley Set’ from West Cork, one of the valleys up from Bantry, in its more current and popular state will have already experienced a version of the ‘kick’ borrowed from this couple dance. It is the couple dance that gave the step as an ‘alternative’ for the set. This couple dance was at one time known all across the isle. I’ll give two variations of the step for the couple dance, both being slightly different from the way it is stepped for the set…

The Set ~
"Toss the Feathers: Irish Set Dancing" ~ Pat Murphy
Mercier Press, 1995
ISBN: 1-85635-1157

page 77: Borlin Set

"Polka: In waltz hold, all couples stamp on their heels (jump) and kick or lift their outside foot (gent’s right foot, lady’s left foot) towards the centre (1 bar), dance 123 (1 bar)"

& an online description of a complete set:

http://www.setdanceteacher.co.uk/
http://www.setdanceteacher.co.uk/borlin.htm

As mentioned, the hop and kick had only originally became an option but has now become the norm…as have a few other additions and outright exaggerations to set dancing, including some extremes that in the past were rare, even considered rude and inconsiderate, the provenance of a very few (including a friend or two), folks you had to give space to or risk being crippled… So, sadly, in certain instances anyway some of these ways are even taught, so the meek don’t always inherit the world… Sometimes the manic take over… ;-)

The Couple Dance ~
Basic hold: Man on her left, Woman on his right, facing the Line-Of-Direction (= LOD = ACW-AntiClockWise around the dance area) ~ an open hold, this can be a waist-shoulder hold, with than man’s right arm around his partners back and her left hand on his nearest shoulder or behind his back (R under/L over), or they can merely hold the nearest hand, his right, her left.

First variation:

bar 1 ~ drop down on both feet, or a ‘little’ jump onto both, hop on the inside feet while kicking the outside forward = the man hops on his Right and kicks his Left/the woman hops on her L and kicks her R… By ‘hop’ I mean just a heel drop or ‘skip’ in place…

bar 2 ~ step 1, 2, 3 turning dropping hold and turning in toward partner halfway to face in the opposite direction ~ M-LRL / W-RLR…

3 - 4 ~ Repeat with opposite footwork…

5 - 8 ~ For the ‘single’ version of the dance you then dance as a couple in a closed-hold, waltz/ballroom or the barrel/hug, turning CW for 4 X 123. You have the option of doing the four pivots/the ‘double’ for bars 7 and 8.

5 - 8 ~ For the ‘double’ version of the dance you Repeat the kicks again in both directions, and then ~

1 - 8 ~ taking the hold as for the ‘single’ version bars 4 - 8, you do the same but have eight bars to dance around as a couple turning CW and travelling ACW. Again, for bars 7 and 8 you have the same option given for the ‘single’ version of the dance.

Second variation, the ‘double’ version given, and the one I mostly teach, the order of bars 1 & 2 are basically reversed:

bar 1 ~ moving forward in the LOD ~ M-LRL / W-RLR

bar 2 ~ similar to bar 1 in the first variation: drop down on both feet, or a ‘little’ jump onto both, hop on the inside feet while kicking the inside feet forward = the man hops on his L and kicks his R / the woman hops on her R and kicks her L…

3 - 4 ~ turn halfway round toward each other to face the opposite direction, again taking hold, repeat stamp and kick…

5 - 6 ~ Repeat turn, stamp and kick in LOD

7 - 8 ~ Repeat turn, stamp and kick

1 - 2 ~ facing partner and taking hold dance to the side and back = ACW: M-LRL/W-RLR, and back to the side CW: M-RLR/W-LRL

3 - 8 ~ Turning as a couple CW and travelling ACW, again bars 7 & 8 can be danced as the pivot/double…

“The Kickin’ Polka / Polkie” ~

A fun track for this if you’re mad enough, or if you’re teaching and need a recording for it, is to be found on the Patrick Street album "All in Good Time", track 7, "The Girls Along the Road"…

https://thesession.org/recordings/display/74

The Cherry Blossom, X:4

With harmony

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