If the title might seem less than obvious, the first part at least, as soon as this lilting, 3/4 country waltz begins, you will all make that same exclamation…“Ahhh, I get it now.” And whilst musically it errs towards the rootsy sound of the New World, it is a song which acknowledges the Old World classical realms from which gave birth to the structure it utilizes so well. 

And that is what is great about the song, its ability to have one deft and delicately dancing foot in each of those worlds. It is a song that plays up to country music expectations but echoes Strauss’s elegant poise and infectious tunes, a perfect reminder that he was the pop of his day. And these two worlds collide brilliantly in the line, “I’m a Viennese ballroom, a Tennesse dive,” another subtle reminder, this time that nothing ever changes, but nothing stays the same.

Poem In Three then proceeds to walk us through the specifics of such a song, talking of rhythm and rhyme, dance and romance and of artists who have followed a similar musical path from Chopin to The Beatles, from the high-brow to the music hall. 

But as much of a musical history lesson as the song is, it is first and foremost, exactly what a waltz has always been, a dance tune. And as dance tunes go, gentle, swaying, lilting and lovely ones at that, this is certainly up there with the best.

If Strauss had found himself working the country circuit south of the Mason-Dixon line and born a hundred years later, or if The Carter Family had been writing for the upper-class Viennese ballroom set of the late 1800s, this is precisely the type of music that either of them would now be known for. Probably.

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