The Flappers polka

By Felix Burns

Also known as The Flappers One-Step.

The Flappers has been added to 7 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: The Flappers
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Fmaj
C/FF/ FG|A/GA/ F2|D/GG/ GA|B/AB/ G2|E/cc/ cd|
c/AG/ F2|1 A/GD/ EF|G2 c2:|2 A/GD/ Ec|F2 f2||
C F2 C|D F2 D|CF FG|A F3|B d2 f|
c A2 F|1 G>A GD|FE DC:|2 G>F GA|F2 f2||
C/FF/ FG|A/GA/ F2|D/GG/ GA|B/AB/ G2|E/cc/ cd|
c/AG/ F2|1 A/GD/ EF|G2 c2:|2 A/GD/ Ec|F2 f2||
F d2 F|G e2 G|F>=E FG|F d3|_E c2 E|
d B2 B|1 BG AB|d>c AF|2 G/A/B/c/ dc|B2 B2||
G/A/B/c/ d/c/B/A/|Gg G2|cc/d/ ec|d=B G2|
gg/a/ bg|f/g/f/d/ B2|GA Bc|d2 d2||

Five comments

The Flappers

Composed by Felix Burns. This is transcribed from a 78rpm record by Peter Wyper (Regal G6983), recorded circa May 1912. It is described as a one-step or two-step.

There is a generation of Scottish musicians between the great fiddlers/publishers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the start of the recording era (c.1904/5). One musician who came to prominence during that time was Felix Burns, whose compositions are interesting because we can hear his American influences: the precursors of jazz, namely cakewalks and ragtime. One can only wonder where Burns heard the material - one possibility is piano rolls; another, simply sheet music.

With the advent of the recording era, we can hear that alongside the ever popular Scottish and Irish dance music is this syncopated, American style. The Wyper Brothers obviously were fans, and later Jimmy Shand - himself heavily influenced by the Wypers, recorded and published quite a few Felix Burns numbers.

The Flappers

They order it’s played on the record is

“The Border City Collection: Felix Burns”

Published by The National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs (NAAFC)
~ a collection of 30 of the compositions of Felix Burns, including placing them in the context of his life and history, photos,and an article written by Felix’s youngest son, Leo Burns.

In the collection this is listed as a ‘one-step’…

Streetswing ~
The One Step ~

- The One-Step is said to be of American origin and is a very simple and easily dance to learn and to perform. Many of the dances of the day (1910s) such as the Turkey Trot and Grizzly Bear steps were modified to fit the one step, sometimes called the Walking Step and the Collegiate Foxtrot was basically a One Step as well. The American One-Step is said to be done in Dog Trot Style (dancing on the balls of feet) and was mixed with the above dances. The One-Step eventually gave way to the modern Quick-Step as they were originally pretty much the same dance.

- The English One-Step (a tamer version than American) was introduced to the states in 1911 and when danced to the new Ragtime music, and became a hit. The One Step has been stated and written many times as been introduced by Vernon and Irene Castle around 1912, they state it was better known as the Castle Walk and as a Fox-trot variation. Contrary to this there is much written material on the dance that dates back to the mid to late 1800’s as well as sheet music that is stated for “a one-step” that predates the Castle’s claim by many years. However with the advent of the Castle Walk, the two dances eventually MERGED and became one using slow walks instead of quick walks, (music for the One Step was slower, than that of the Castle Walk.)

- Most likely, no one invented the One-Step, as it probably just happened, a folk dance if you will. Since the Waltz was becoming extremely popular, the dancers probably just started doing a Single-step inplace of a Triple-step, and started walking, later applying it to other music such as 2/4 and 4/4 time which was even MORE SO if you didn’t know how to waltz at the time, you could learn the One Step in five minutes.

- Basically the dance was just a brisk walking step to each beat of music and was done just as the name implies. Usually done to march type music for best results (When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, Stars and Stripes Forever etc.). A smooth movement was desired, trying to avoid bent knees while dancing the One Step with plenty of “pep.” The dance was basically a walk on each beat of music … Pattern length’s were eight beats in length.