Back in 2009 our Opera friend Darko did a post which included a video
of an old Croatian folk song. Well I watched the video, and it struck
me that a section from the song (@ 0:27 and following) sounded very
familiar. So I told Darko so, and said that I would try to find the song
that had come to mind.
Well the only thing I could remember was that it was a song sung by a
female singer back in the 60s. Not much to go on. And in fact over the
next two days I had no luck finding the song. I hit a brick wall. I'm a
pretty good researcher, and this bothered me. Nevertheless I had to
admit to myself that I wasn't going to find it.
Cut to three days ago. I was doing some research on the history of the
minuet form, when I came across a reference to the famous Minuet in G,
originally thought to have been written by J.S. Bach but recently shown
to have been composed by Christian Petzold. I hadn't heard the piece
since the 70s and had forgotten all about it. So I went to youTube and
listened to it. Well, out of the blue, there was the melody that I had
heard on Darko's post "Ruza Crvena." From that point the path was quick
and straight forward. I got onto Wikipedia and found the entry for the
famous Minuet and checked for cultural references. And there I found it.
The song that I remembered, and the melody that had struck a bell in
Darko's video, was "A Lover's Concerto." This song was first recorded by
The Toys in 1965, and later covered by The Supremes — no doubt the
version I remember. There were small modifications to the original
minuet to produce the popular song, mainly a change of time signature
from 3/4 to 4/4, and the addition of a jazzy beat. But otherwise the
minuet's first section remains intact.
So. I found it. It took me one and a half frigging years but I found it.
I'm such a stubborn s.o.b. sometimes.
Of course I have no idea how the Minuet and a Croatian folk song ended
up with the same melody. Perhaps the folk song came earlier and was used
by Petzhold. Or perhaps the folk song borrowed off of the minuet — just
as "A Lover's Concerto" did. It would take some extensive research indeed
to find all that out. And if you don't mind, I think I'll just quit right here.