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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


Each time a new file is posted in Current Tablature, the previous file is moved to "Archived tab files".


Poor Butterfly 


Words: J.L. Golden
Music: R. Hubbell
Arr: Merv Rowley & Ruth Randle, 2012

In 1916 the New York Hippodrome Theater presented a musical entitled The Big Show, showcasing the music of songwriters John Golden and Ray Hubbell. The musical hit of the show was Poor Butterfly.

Lyrics for the song are actually an adaptation from the theme of an earlier operetta, Madame Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini.
The lyrics tell the bittersweet tragedy of a young Japanese geisha who falls in love with a young American naval officer. When his ship leaves for the states, he promises to return to her. In the opera, Lieutenant Pinkerton marries her and leaves her pregnant. When he eventually returns to Japan three years later, with an American wife, the girl quietly commits hara-kiri (Japanese ritual suicide) to hide her shame, leaving their young son for him to raise. In the opera, Cho-Cho-San, who becomes Poor Butterfly, plays the lead role.


About The Music:

Notice how masterfully the composer has used a major chromatic scale, with numerous minor, diminished and flatted fifth chords to create the sadness of melody while simulating an oriental musical theme.


This arrangement requires a 1+ fret.

Your 1-3-5 Team


Download files: 






poor butterfly.mid


Historical Links:






  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


Our .MIDI music files are produced by TablEdit notation software.





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