Monday, October 15, 2012

Dance of the Goldenrods

Lately I've noticed lots of goldenrods growing in ditches 
and on banks along the highways.
I suppose to many passersby, they just look like weeds.
But when I see goldenrods bending their heads in the autumn breeze, 
I hear music.

Photo of goldenrods compliments of

And the music I hear is one particular song, a schottische for piano
written by John. J. Fitzpatrick in 1905, 
called "Dance of the Goldenrods."
I learned it around age ten or eleven in preparation for a piano recital.
And oh, how I practiced that song. Over and over again. 
Day and night. Night and day. 
Over and over and over.

So much practice, that the sheet music split in half at the fold.
I scotch-taped it together,
 but constant folding and refolding in practice caused it to soon split again.
I still had lots of practice to do, so I taped it one more time
--this time with black electrical tape. It held.
 It held so well, that after decades, the paper has fallen apart at the edges,
but the black-taped seam is still holding.

I performed at the recital--adequately, I think, 
because I remember enjoying the experience.
"Dance of the Goldenrods" is what I would call a jaunty, lively, and energetic tune. 
And I have happy memories of playing the song.
About 30-odd years after the recital, I sat down at my mom's piano
and played the song pretty well, if haltingly. 
I couldn't believe I could still remember the notes after all those years,
but then, I had practiced it in earnest.

I found a site that has a free download of  "Dance of the Goldenrods."
To hear, go to this link and click Download:         

The song played easily for me on Windows Media Player.
It's such a cheerful tune, it's worth the minute it takes to open the link and download.
I'm sure anyone who hears it 
will want to get up and dance along with the goldenrods.

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