Tune of the Month
Nick and Lena's Wedding Waltz
So many great tunes came over from Norway to the Great Plains in the latter part of the 19th century. Sometimes whole villages moved, lock stock and barrel to a new home and the dream of prosperity. In fact, according to Wikipedia, some 800,000 Norwegians left Norway for Canada & the U.S. from 1825- 1925, about a third of the total population. (Only Ireland gave up a larger percentage of their people). The music and dance of course came with them and continued to evolve in the new world into a Scandinavian/American variety and which in turn contributed greatly to the evolving mix of fiddle styles of the greater Northwest. Bernie Rasmussen grew up in such a community in Montana (see The Evergreen Fiddler: Volume III – The Blueberry Jig). His strong tone and intonation and eminently danceable touch are typical of this style of music. This tune could well be named for his uncle Nick, from whom Bernie learned much of his music, and aunt Lena. That’s yours truly on guitar with Linda Danielson on second fiddle from a 1974 jam session at Weiser.
Julane Lund, fiddler and scholar, has also written in The Old Time Herald (Aug/Sep 2007) and Fiddler Magazine (Fall 2008) about this delightful subset of North American Old Time Fiddling.
Please contact me if you have questions or requests.
Stuart Williams, Music Editor
May 9, 2011