I’ve always been a sucker for a good, fast polka. They’re fun to play, fun to dance to and ...well, just fun.
There must be some kind of universal appeal to these rousing tunes; read the Wikipedia entry and you’ll see what I mean. In my music collection, I have English, Irish, French, Italian, Eastern European, Mexican, Cajun and Scandinavian polkas, among others. A long time ago, I learned a rousing one from the Faroe Islands. I’ve danced at Polish weddings to the Clarinet Polka and played the various Ballydesmonds from Ireland and the Walter Bulwer’s from England.
And let’s not forget polkas in classical music.
Check out these amazing women doing a tune that strongly resembles the Finnish Polka played by some American contra dance groups.
People are still writing great polkas; here’s one by the high-energy English ceilidh band Whapweasel.
Or how about a cool Mexican polka?
Here's my group Frog Hammer doing a polka I'd never played before we did it as the soundcheck tune at a gig last year.
Polkas can be really fast and complex, like this.
Or statelier and simpler, like the lovely Jenny Lind.
So that’s the challenge for June: record and post a polka. Maybe you'll want to record one of your favorites.
Or you can do what I'm doing - take this opportunity to learn one I've always wanted to play and never gotten around to.
If you’re a relatively new player, it’s not necessary to play at the speed of light; slow is fine.
As a polka lover, I’m hoping to hear - and learn - some new tunes this month.
Edited by Jim Besser, 29 May 2014 - 09:07 AM.