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Hayes Valley Mazurka: A Polish Song From 1875

Hayes Valley Mazurka: A Polish Song From 1875
Photo: Flickr/svaboda
By Jared Schwartz - Published on March 29, 2014.
Today's post is for our music-composing and piano-playing friends. 

While doing some research online, we came across something called the "Hayes Valley Mazurka" in the Library of Congress. It's a two-page score of piano music written by Chas W. Engelmann and published in 1875. 

People were so in love with Hayes Valley they were writing songs about us in the 1800s. 

So what's a mazurka? Well, according to Wikipedia, it's a "Polish folk dance in triple meter, usually at a live tempo, and with an accent on the second or third beat." Or as Wikipedia also shows us in noted form, it goes something like this:



It comes from the Polish word "mazur" which described people living in Poland's Mazovia region. 

It was published by A.L. Bancroft & Co at 723 Market (currently located between the CVS and Del Taco near 3rd) and dedicated to a woman named Augusta Williams. 

We tried seeing if we could find anything out about her and located one record from the 1940 Census of an 83 year old woman with the same name living in San Francisco. With an estimated birth in 1857, she would have been 18 in 1875 when this piece was published.

You know, a great age to inspire someone to write a song about them. 

We can't locate too much information about the composer, aside from him writing a few other polkas in the 1850s. 

So if you're looking for a way to stay dry today and have access to a piano, keyboard, or app that turns an iPad into that scene from "Big" with Tom Hanks, download it from the Library of Congress and give it a play.

Let us know if it reminds you of home.