Jessica’s Waltz

In my last fiddle lesson with my teacher, I began learning one of the lesser-known waltzes, Jessica’s Waltz, called by some just Jessica Waltz or The Jessica Waltz. Here’s a nice, simple, unadorned fiddle version.

One of the things I like to do when learning a new tune is to try and learn about it’s history. Most times this is somewhat easy with so many internet resources available today, but this was not the case with Jessica’s Waltz. After almost three hours of searching, about the only information that I could find is that it is a traditional Canadian tune of probable German origin. Probably the best known Canadian version was played by Don Messer of Don Messer and His Islanders. Don Messer was a Canadian musician, band leader, radio broadcaster, and defining icon of folk music during the 1960s. Don Messer and His Islanders was an old-time music group, the most popular in Canada during the mid-20th century, largely on the basis of its CBC radio and TV series which was widely popular throughout Canada. Here is a recording of Don Messer and His Islanders playing Jessica’s Waltz.

I find it sad and frustrating that the history of so much old time music is lost to the ages, as is the case with this beautiful waltz.

Yesterday, I took the recording I made of my teacher playing Jessica’s Waltz and added it to the Fiddle Tune Tabs section if you would like to learn it, also.

If anyone knows anything more than what I have mentioned about Jessica’s Waltz, I would appreciate your comment below.

  3 comments for “Jessica’s Waltz

  1. Lew Stern
    November 15, 2019 at 6:15 am

    I suppose I read this blog too quickly, and went right to the video – so my first thought was that you have no business passing yourself off as an “Older Folk,” looking as young as you do . . . I eventually figured out the film showed your teacher playing the waltz. I suppose that’s a good reason to refrain from waking up real early and heading to the FFOF website too soon, before coffee . . .

    • November 15, 2019 at 6:21 am

      Thanks for the early morning chuckle, Lew. Actually, that guy is not my teacher. I found his version on YouTube and it was the “cleanest” of all the versions I listened to and thought it might help anyone trying to learn the tune (although he plays it slightly different). You can see my teacher in this link:

  2. November 13, 2019 at 8:57 am

    That’s a lovely tune, though I sadly can’t say I’ve ever heard it or know anything more about it. I guess it’s up to folks like us to keep these songs going!

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