Bet you saw this coming, didn't you?And my original message over the weekend went like this:
Tuesday's forecast is now calling for a 100-percent chance of snow, and we're calling off tomorrow's "first Tuesday" session of the Prairieland Strings dulcimer club.
Good night to stay home, throw another log on the fire and play "Lee's Waltz" and -- dare I mention it? -- "Sumer Is Icumen In." Yeah. Ironic. Last time we try to introduce *that* song in the wintertime! Here's the central Illinois forecast from NOAA in Lincoln:
* ACCUMULATIONS...6 TO 8 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE ALONG AND NORTH OF A TAYLORVILLE TO PARIS LINE. 4 TO 6 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE SOUTH OF THIS LINE TO INTERSTATE 70. LOCALIZED HIGHER AMOUNTS WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE.
* WIND...NORTHEAST WINDS OF 10 TO 20 MPH WILL BECOME NORTHWEST AT 15 TO 25 MPH TUESDAY NIGHT.
* VISIBILITIES...SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO LESS THAN A QUARTER MILE AT TIMES TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING...MAINLY ALONG AND NORTH OF A BEARDSTOWN TO DANVILLE LINE.
* IMPACTS...ACCUMULATING SNOW AND AREAS OF REDUCED VISIBILITIES DUE TO BLOWING SNOW...WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
So, here we are … Tuesday's forecast is calling for: "Cloudy with periods of snow during the afternoon. High 24F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 80%. 3 to 5 inches of snow expected." And Tuesday night: "Snow in the evening will taper off to light snow overnight. Low 19F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 80%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches." But it's changed within the last hour. Here's what I take it to mean: Anything can happen.
It's a crapshoot.
So I'm going to send out music and hope for the best.
But watch this space. Your email inbox, too. If the forecast is still calling for a lot of snow and/or ice on the roads in a couple of days, we'll have to call off the session again.
Our regular "first Tuesday" session of the Prairieland Strings dulcimer club is from 7 to 9 p.m. at Atonement Lutheran Church, 2800 West Jefferson, Springfield. To the email message I'm attaching mountain dulcimer tablature for "Sumer Is Icumen In" from when we got snowed out last month (ironic enough for you?) and a lead sheet for "Lee's Waltz," a lovely mountain dulcimer tune that sounds even lovelier when other instruments are on it too.
Here it is played by YouTube user Ken Rigby. If you're interested in dulcimer chords, watch his left hand. If you're not, you can just play the melody. On the dulcimer or the instrument of your choice!
The North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association has tablature for "Lee's Waltz" at
"Learning to play with others, not only with different instruments but different kinds of music, I think has helped us musically," he said. "We introduced Doug Felt's 'Lee's Waltz' to them here on our RV park, and now it's one of their favorites. Some of the guitar players were challenged with the ABAC form of the song, so I used my EasyABC program to produce a version for them that allowed them to play out straight through without having to go back and forth between parts all one one page. I'll send it to you in case you have a guitar player who'd like to play the song …"
Doug Felt wrote the song for his wife Lee. They're fixtures on the dulcimer festival circuit. If you've noticed the low-slung cloth music stands that a lot of the mountain dulcimer players use, they're Doug's. And the cloth bags are Lee's design. You can see pictures of the stands and bags, along with other accessories at ...
Lee, who has a quiet sense of humor and makes the dulcimer bags, is the "dulcimer bag lady."
A North Georgia Foothills Footnote. NGFDA, by the way, has a lot of good information on its website, including a pretty good primer on ABC files, which it defines as "text files that describe in an fairly readable way the notes of a song, the duration of each note, and even the chords that accompany the melody." It uses the letters for note values, so "Amazing Grace" (in G) looks like this:
|:D | A> (B A/G/) B2 A | G2 E D2 D |The advantage? Once you've entered an ABC file in a computer, the computer can do the kinds of things a computer can do -- including things like transposing a song into "D for dulcimer!" -- and print out the song in standard musical notation. Most of the common folk songs and hymns, especially from Great Britain and Ireland, are likely to be available on line in ABC format. Just do a Google search on the title and "ABC."
G> B A/G/ B2 A/B/ | ( d3 d2) B |
d> B A/G/ B2 A | G2 E D2 D |
G> B A/G/ B2 A | (G3 G2) :|