‘1, 2, 3’
(1921) seems to have originated in a 1906 ‘take-off’ for chamber orchestra, entitled Rube trying to walk 2 and 3!!
. ‘Written as a joke, and sounds like one! … at 2.45 A.M.’, Ives wrote on the sketch. This music became the basis of his scherzo Over the Pavements
, and in 1921 he adapted it for voice and piano in 114 Songs
. In this rhythmic and metric study of two-against-three, the 3/8 time signature is continually subverted by the two-quaver figures in the bass, which tend to walk all over the bar lines. (The song might be regarded as a comic counterpart to Walking
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2005