Hope this is OK, because it’s a bit of an odd tune, I think from Cape Breton, or thereabouts. It’s not played as a polka at all, more a march, i’d say, but it sounded right played back on the computer. I got it from the CD by the group "Turas", and it’s also been recorded by "The Moving Cloud". There is a funny "turn" at the end of the 2nd part, going back to the repeat of the tune.
Its Polka Chinoise
This is Polka Chinoise and its French Canadian in origin. It can be heard on one of Chris Wood and Andy Cutting’s early recordings- Lisa, I think. There’s some brilliant music on this recording.
Yes,Lisa is a great album.Two Englishmen outdoing the French Canadians at their own game.
Usually played in F# minor
I’ve heard this tune many times played by many different people, including my husband. The sheet music appears in several transcription tunebooks of artists such as Don Messer, Alfred Montmarquette and Phillippe Bruneau; and it’s on many Quebecois cds. I’ve always heard it (and seen it everywhere but here) with the little crooked pauses in the end of the "b" part of the tune before it winds up to a repeat of the "a" part. It’s usually played AABBAA, and I think those little extra holds add a lot to the charm of the original.
Recorded by Alfred Montmarquette in 1929.
I am not sure if the origin is French-Canadian though, I heard it in sessions where all they play is English traditional!
I really like Philippe Bruneau’s version of it that Dorothy Hogan included in her book and accompanying cd.
Another Chinese Polka?
Years ago, on a dodgy accordion tape that has since been lost, I heard the Chinese Polka (or was it the Polka Chinoise?): it was a brilliant pentatonic number that redeemed the whole recording. I don’t think it was this one though. Has any one come across another ‘Chinese Polka’ (by name)?