Friday, November 20, 2009

Waltz Time, Part II

Welcome to part II of Waltz Time. This time, a waltz is a dance. But not just a dance. Two people hold each other close, and, for a brief moment, the rest of the world does not exist. This moment can be a pause, before reality once again asserts itself. It can be the culmination of a long build up. Or it can be a transformative event, after which nothing is ever the same. But one thing is for sure: the waltz is a moment of magic.

Richard Thompson: Waltzing‘s For Dreamers


Richard Thompson can feel this magic, but here, he can not allow himself to believe in it. Waltzing’s For Dreamers comes from fairly early in Thompson’s solo career, or not that long after his breakup with former wife Linda. A waltz with a stranger provides a temporary refuge from heartbreak, but it cannot last.

David Wilcox: Last Chance Waltz


David Wilcox’s character here looks forward anxiously to a waltz with a woman he was interested in in high school, but could never bring himself to pursue. Now, at his tenth reunion, he has one last chance to declare his love. She is spoken for, so it can go nowhere, but he still feels the need to do what he could never do before. The magic of the waltz makes it possible.

Incidentally, the female voice on this track may sound familiar. It’s Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Small Potatoes: Waltz of the Wallflowers


Waltz of the Wallflowers is a fairytale. I was painfully shy in high school, so this one hits home. I always wished for two things: that I would have the guts to do something like this, and that it would work out this well. But don’t stare!

Owen Roberts: New Paltz Waltz


In New Paltz Waltz, the magic is more akin to a renewal of vows. The waltz here is a reminder of love, and a refreshing of it. Again, putting aside the world and its cares for a brief moment is the key. I don’t like my love songs to be sappy, but I do like them to be tender. New Paltz Waltz is one of the tenderest I know.

Over the Rhine: Mary‘s Waltz


This one comes from an Over the Rhine Christmas album, but it is no more a Christmas song than Joni Mitchell’s River. The song is mysterious, which fits a tale of sharing secrets. The waltz here is metaphorical, but still represents a safe space where the world cannot intrude.


So there is my journey through the waltz. Before I leave, I would like to quickly thank my fellow posters at Star Maker Machine for their help in gathering songs for this post and the last one. And I would like to thank my readers once again for your kindness and good wishes. I feel very fortunate to have created something that has attracted such a fine group of people, and I will continue to try to offer good reasons for you to come back.