[Harp-L] Peg o' My Heart - where's the introduction

philharpn@xxxxx philharpn@xxxxx
Sat Jul 30 15:22:16 EDT 2016

Whenever someone has a question about the notes of a song, I've always found the best solution is going back to the original sheet music. 

If the song is old enough (published before 1924) it can be downloaded free. Otherwise, there is a cost from about a half-dozen digital download sites. The full music arrangement can cost $5+ 

Also, you can play the song and listen to it to hear if it sounds like you think it sounds.

The first page shown in the original sheet music in the Dover book (facsimile reprints) is also available from the website <.musicnotes.com>

What makes this question about the "introduction" to Peg complicated is that most people think the song starts with the refrain: "Peg o" my heart -- I love you, well never, part" instead of the verse: "My hearts in a whirl over one little girl"

The sheet music -- Dover and musicnotes -- show 8 bars of introduction. This is identical to the first 6 bars of the refrain (Peg o' my heart...) with the last two bars of the second ending.

After this 8 bar intro (6 bars + 2 bars) intro there follows  a pickup bar and two bars of vamp

The musicnotes version does not name the chords from the intro and vamp, but it has chord names for the rest of the song. To find the chord names without spelling them out note
for note from the music notation just look at the refrain where the same notes appear with their chord names.

The legal lede sheet version starts with "Oh my hearts in a whirl..." and includes chord names: Dm7, G7, G7aug et cetera. 

Many musicians are aware of the trick of creating an intro to a song by simply playing the last four bars. 

This is kind of what happens with Peg in the published versions. Only the sheet music publisher was not taking any changes that the home piano player would have a suitable introduction to the song. So he put it on there.

Often, a some changes over the years. A song that started out in sheet music Aura Lee (now Love Me Tender) and West Point alma mater is much like the original Aura Lee.

Leap Frog is still pretty much as it started out even though Little Walter re-composed (?) it as Juke, it's still basically Leap Frog, even if it changes slightly from the characteristic riff.

Peg o' My Heart is easy to look up if you know where to look,  Dover published "Peg o' My Heart and Other Favorite Song Hits 1912 and 1913" back in 1989. My copy cost $9.30 and NO it is NOT for sale.
Songs published before 1924 are in the public domain. Which means that it can be found on the internet and downloaded FOR FREE.  The only problem with free internet copies is they are scanned from original sheets and sometimes cloudy, out of focus, with yellowed paper (at 100 years old!) 

Also, you can purchase the whole song from <musicnotes.com> for $5.50. The legal lede sheet is $2.99.

And you can print a sample copy of the first page of the piano arrangement FOR FREE from their website

And you can transpose it from the original key of C in to A, Bb, Eb, F or G at no additional cost

CHORD MELODY  complications,

Chord melody songs are common in the guitar world. The concept is to play the chord and melody note at the same time. Many popular songbook include a chord or few for each bar. That is not melody chord. It is usually the right chord, but the highest pitched note in the chord (the melody note) is usually not the right note for the melody. Just playing the chords does not reflect the melody and therefore does not "sound" like the song.

So the chord has to be inverted (same notes re-arranged) with the melody note is on top. This means even if the chord stays the same (some Peg bars have 3 chords) the  top note has to change to follow the melody I don't own a chord harmonica, but my understanding is that inversion of the chords is pretty much set at the factory. The Harmonetta would offer some flexibility but not the same as the Melodica (36-key blown keyboard).

- - - - 

If you think trying to find the introduction to Peg is difficult, try searching for the verse for White Christmas-- which almost nobody ever sings anymore.

Here is [Verse (omitted from film):]
The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
I've never seen such a day
In Beverly Hills, L.A.
But it's December the twenty-fourth
And I am longing to be up north
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow
I'm dreaming of white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

hope this helps


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