Mudcat Café message #2939841 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113301   Message #2939841
Posted By: JohnInKansas
04-Jul-10 - 08:26 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Clarinet Polka
Subject: RE: Origins: Clarinet Polka
It would appear that the original composer was the famous "Anonymous" and that the original name for the tune was "Dziadunio," i.e "Grandfather" or "Grandfather's" and the tune is "trad." The notation on the record is an alternate title, and not a composer.

The "composer" shown on the piano roll more likely is either an "arranger" or the "punch driver" who put the tune on the roll.

Later persons who played it commonly would list their own name as "composer" even though "arranger" would be more appropriate. With no disrespect to "Pinky" it's doubtful that he "composed" it but quite likely that he "wrote" (i.e. arranged) a version of the trad tune. Since an "arrangement" has the same copyright privileges as a "composition," the difference was (is) seldom noted.

There are those who insist that there must be "words" to every tune, but any words to this tune (esp any not in Polish?) are quite likely not "original" or even "trad," and it's quite likely that there are numerous "lyricists" who have written competing word-sets since the tune was very popular through the entire "big-band" era. Singers feel "excluded" if it's just a tune, so each writes a lyric.

I would say see the thread on Ashokan Farewell for a case study about Jay Ungar's battle to avoid having multiple (and mostly bad) "lyrics" published for his tune; but as there are about 16 threads on the tune and I'm lazy, I can't say which one includes that discussion.