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
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.
arrangement requires a 1+ fret.
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