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IN PRAISE OF POLKA MUSIC

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 17, 2018

BRYCE ON MUSIC

– It can hardly be called “depressing.”

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As I was growing up, I didn’t think too much of the polka, that festive music originating from Europe. I was exposed to it in Chicago where I lived for a few years. Even then I thought it was nothing more than a curiosity and not a serious form of music. More recently though, a polka show surfaced on WZIG-FM (104.1) here in Palm Harbor where my audio columns are played (click to STREAM). At first, I tuned in just to listen to something different as I drove around locally, but I quickly became a fan of it. Let me explain why.

First, the “Polka Happy Hour” is played on Wednesday’s from 5-6pm with “Wackie Jackie” as the host. Aside from the silly name, he is a polka aficionado who explains what the various songs mean and how they originated. He is a veritable encyclopedia of polka knowledge who obviously enjoys the music genre and turns it into an enjoyable hour of entertainment. Some people might say to me, “What, you listen to polka? Are you crazy?” Probably so, but I became attracted to it as it is lively fun, as opposed to the Rap rubbish on the radio.

It has been my observation polka music usually addresses one of three themes: a pretty girl, good food, or a good drink, all of which is sung as a lively and merry tune. After awhile, a lot of the polka music starts to sound the same, but it is the lyrics that make each song unique. The songs are meant for people to have fun, I don’t think there has ever been one produced intended to be sad or depressing. In fact, polka is one of those music genres that is impossible to sing anything other than festively. Death, taxes, shootings, illnesses, disease, politics, et al, have no place in polka music, and therein is why people enjoy it so. It is very “up,” definitely not “down.”

There is relatively few polkas well known by the general public, such as the Pennsylvania Polka, the Beer Barrel Polka, and She’s Too Fat Polka. As to this last one, people who are politically correct may be offended as it talks about a woman who is overweight. There are many others the PC police would be bothered by the message of the song. Those who enjoy polka though, know it is only done in jest and are not offended in the slightest way. As an aside, a personal favorite of mine is, “You Cannot Teach the Japanese to Polka.” I do not believe our friends from the land of the rising sun would object to this, and would likely agree with the premise. Like everyone else, they would laugh.

Polka is fast paced, fun, and frankly, a little frivolous. If you haven’t listened to it in a while, give it another try. I don’t believe you can wear a frown while listening to polka music. No doubt, there would be less stress in the world if there was more polka.

Keep the Faith!

P.S., Be sure to see my video, “The PRIDE Renewal Tour,” on YouTube.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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One Response to “IN PRAISE OF POLKA MUSIC”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A J.Z. of Tampa, Florida wrote…

    “Thanks for sharing this with me. WOW!………I have had many articles written and people interview over the years and all they wanted is talk about me or poke fun at the music of “MY Father”. My show keeps his music and memory alive for me.

    Finally…………….. someone spoke with respect about the music and put the correct spin on it for the masses to hear! Perfect Job Mr. Bryce!!! I also thank you for focusing more about the music then the host. That was what I like the best. A monkey could do my job but not everyone can play a Polka! It is Dance Music. It makes you happy, it makes you tap your foot, it has tradition and best of all……… Kids Love it! I am really honored to have this piece done and thank you for allowing my talent to light the fuse that fueled enough passion to write this piece about the Polka Happy Hour. Thanks again!”

    Like

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