The Waltz You Saved For Me

past and present with frame

Her eyes were closed as she danced
and it was almost like he was with her,
his arm around her waist,
leading her there on the dance floor.
The lines on her face seemed to diminish,
she was no longer feeble;
she was light on her feet and seemed
to float across the dance floor………..

Read on for the full story


Please click and play
“The Waltz You Saved For Me”
while you read this entry of my blog.

A while back I was asked to play for an event. A couple weeks before the occasion, I received a phone call from the event planner asking me if I knew the song, “The Waltz You Saved for Me”. I did not know the piece, but told her I could probably find the music online somewhere. She told me that an elderly woman who would be attending wanted the pianist to play this song and that it was very important to her.

With that being the only information I had, I went to YouTube to find and listen to the song. It had an old-fashioned melody with a heavy country feel. Rather than purchasing the sheet music I found it to be a very simple melody and knew it would be easy to create a lead sheet. So I jotted down some notes and chord symbols. As I was playing around with it, the melody grew on me; it reminded me of music my parents might have listened to when I was a child.

So I prepared myself to perform this song at the upcoming event. Once I arrived, the event planner came to me and asked if I found the music. I told her yes and she said that she would let me know when I am to play it. So I went to the piano and began playing a variety of music and taking requests.

About half way through the evening, the event planner came to me and said “It’s time.” She told me to wait for the cue.

Within moments, a lovely elderly woman slowly emerged from the audience and approached the piano holding a large framed photo. She announced that today, would have been her 65th wedding anniversary. She proceeded to tell the audience that last year she had lost her husband Robert and that she misses him terribly. She said that The Waltz You Saved for Me was “Their Song” and that for more years than she can remember, they have waltzed to that song every anniversary. She told the audience that this year would be no different.

So with that comment, she put the microphone in the stand, looked at me and nodded her head. That was my cue.

So I began to play the song as she began to dance and sway, clenching the photo of her cherished husband close to her chest. Her eyes were closed as she danced and it was almost like he was with her, his arm around her waist, leading her there on the dance floor. The lines on her face seemed to diminish, she was no longer feeble; she was light on her feet and seemed to float across the dance floor. Her face appeared to glow with peace and contentment, at last once again in her husband’s arms. She looked so beautiful and elegant as the spotlight followed her. At that moment, she was in a different world.

I was taken aback at the beauty of that moment. Before I knew it I had played the song through. I wasn’t sure how long I should make this song…..should I play it again? Yes…I should, she’s not finished. I was now almost to the end of the song again; shall I play it once more? As I winded down the second time, I could sense she was almost finished, so I began to gradually slow the music. She followed the ritardando like a pro and ended gracefully like a woman half her age.

Wow, that was so incredible! The audience was moved and leapt to their feet giving her a standing ovation. I could see many ladies wiping their eyes; her performance had touched their hearts as well as mine. She looked at me and mouthed thank you. As the applause died down, the sweet lady smiled as she slowly walked back to her seat with the picture of her husband in her arms.

I saw her once more later that evening. Her countenance was different, the glow she had before was now diminished and her stance was again showing her age.

Music has a way of touching hearts, bringing back memories and taking the listener back to another time. That evening, all who attended this party saw the transformation of an elderly woman still mourning the loss of her husband, to a much younger, happy woman in love. If only for a moment in time, this lady was back with her husband in a state of elated bliss. ~

Footnote: The music you hear is “The Waltz You Saved For Me”, played and recorded by me on a Korg Triton with piano and layers of strings, guitar and drums. Written by Gus Kahn, Wayne King and Emil Flindt. It was first recorded in 1930. The lyrics are below:

Every dream with you I’ll sway, dear
To the waltz you saved for me
Every dream while I’m away, dear
You’ll hear this melody
Whisper goodbye
And gently say, dear
That in all the days to be
You will sometimes remember
The waltz you saved for me

About Shannon Janssen

Pianist, Composer, Instructor View all posts by Shannon Janssen

5 responses to “The Waltz You Saved For Me

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