Joe Broncheau’s Hambo
We thank Joe Broncheau (see February 2012 of this column) for Romeo’s Last Chance. On that same recording Joe’s wife calls out, “play Broncheau’s Hambo.” Since it is an eponymous tune I would presume it to be one he had played for a good while, or even one from his father or uncle, rather than one he picked up in his later years at a fiddle event. Along with tunes associated with the Western Canadian and Métis fiddle traditions, Joe played many of the tunes common to our Northwestern old time fiddlers, in particular, some lovely Scandinavian sounding waltzes. I’ll pull one of those out another issue. Meanwhile, here’s a lively hambo I’ve enjoyed playing – not one I recognize from anywhere else, but please let me know if you do.
The hambo is a very beautiful thing to watch as couples who know what they are doing step broadly out and come back into a graceful spin. The dance, as per Wikipedia, seems to be a Swedish adaptation, coalescing in the late nineteenth century from predecessors in the older polska and mazurka forms. This tune in fact, at least to my ears, seems more akin rhythmically to the mazurkas I’ve played than to other hambos.
Thanks to Jens Lund for making the recordings available to us.