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The Top Ten Polka Classics and the Origin of Polka

Updated on January 23, 2014

What do Polka Music and Polka Dots Have in Common?

Polka music has been around for about 150 years. Why did the Polka originate at about the same time as polka-dots and why are their names similar?

The correlation is that the polka-dot design originated in the mid to late 19th Century in England at the same that Polka music originated and the Polka dance was popular. The term "polka" was used in "polka-dots" only because Polka music was popular at the time but for no other reason. I am not sure if the Polka dancers wore polka-dots.

In this website, I have compiled the Top Ten selling Polka songs of all time. Most of the same songs have been on the list for a long time but every once in a while a new one appears. That happened in the last ten years or so with the origin of the "Chicken Dance Polka."

Please take a look around, you may find something that interests you here and you will definitely learn something.

Grab a pint of beer and turn up the volume! Thanks for the visit!

Creative Commons Photo Credit

James K. Polk
James K. Polk

Did President James K. Polk Invent the Polka?

Although Polka Music became popular around 1850, a year after President James K. Polk died; there is no correlation between them. Polk probably never heard Polka music but if he did, it would've been a very early form and he would've had to have visited Germany to hear it.

Polka music originated in Europe, specifically Bohemia, in the 1830's. It's original name was "Pulka" and was attributed to a single person. Her name was Anna Slezakova. Her song and music style spread throughout Bohemia, Russia, and also into Paris, France.

There are many styles of Polka. I remember the German Polka songs when I lived in Europe.

I also have heard many American styles, some made popular by Lawrence Welk. Since I have lived in Arizona, many of the Hispanic songs remind me of Polka.

Because of the spread of Polka, it is not only entertaining and fun to watch with the quick 2/4 step, but it has also amassed many fans and clubs. The United States has many organizations and events centered on Polka Music and dance.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

The Pennsylvania Polka - Frankie Yankovic

Pennsylvania Polka
Pennsylvania Polka

This is probably one of the most popular Polkas in the United States. It is associated with the annual Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and is featured in the movie, "Groundhog Day" and the version by Frankie Yankovic.

A great tune, play it over and over for emphasis!

 

Frankie Yankovic Square - Cleveland, Ohio

Frankie Yankovic Square - Cleveland, Ohio
Frankie Yankovic Square - Cleveland, Ohio

Weird Al Yankovic - Polkarama! - A Surreal Journey - See if you can spot the polka-dots!

Polka and You!

Have you ever danced or listened to Polka?

See results

Canada's Polka King Walter Ostanek

Canada's Polka King Walter Ostanek
Canada's Polka King Walter Ostanek

No Beer in Heaven Polka

No Beer In Heaven
No Beer In Heaven

Well, I don't know if there is beer in Heaven or not, but that is the name of this Polka.

I really like this tune, it is a little different than a lot of the rest of the Polkas.

 

John Candy & The Polka Scene from Home Alone

Minnesota Polka - Karl And The Country Dutchmen

Minnesota Polka
Minnesota Polka

The Minnesota Polka is popular in Missouri. No, not really! Haha! It is however, popular everywhere with Polka peeps!

This Polka is best when watching the Vikings with an open keg.

 

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - Brian Hyland - "Polka" Dot Music!

The Chicken Dance (Polka Version) - Craig Duncan

The Chicken Dance (Polka Album Version)
The Chicken Dance (Polka Album Version)

This is probably one of the newest Polkas and it has become very popular in recent years along with the dance of the same name.

This is not only popular at Polka events but at any place where there is a celebration, including wedding receptions.

 

Clarinet Polka - Jimmy Dorsey

Clarinet Polka (Album Version)
Clarinet Polka (Album Version)

Jimmy Dorsey is a classic clarinetist and this is one of the favorites in his catalog.

I love the clarinet and in this form, it is very prominent. Jimmy was a fantastic musician and you will enjoy this one!

 

Links to Great Polka Sites

Following are some links to some other great Polka sites.

Put on your costume, play some Polka music and cut a rug!

Liechtensteiner Polka - Die Oberkariner Volksmusikanten

Liechtensteiner Polka
Liechtensteiner Polka

Liechtenstein is a country in Europe. I heard this Polka when I lived in Germany.

The Liechtensteiner Polka is very popular in any establishment that serves beer and is extremely common to hear in any Oktoberfest celebrations.

 

Waltz Time Waltz - Polka Music Songs

Waltz Time Waltz
Waltz Time Waltz

What do you get when you mix the Polka and the Waltz? Well, you get the Waltz Time Waltz.

This is an extremely beautiful and flowing Polka, highly recommended to all Polka aficionados.

 

Modern Version of Polka - The Last Polka - Ben Folds Five

Red Head Polka - Deutschmeisters

Red Head Polka
Red Head Polka

Not only for people with auburn hair or woodpeckers, the Red Head Polka is very fun.

It's staccato style and flowing music make it a very popular choice!

 

Just Because Polka

Just Because Polka
Just Because Polka

A Polka for Polka lovers and when they ask why you do Polka, you can say "Just Because."

This Polka is fun for anyone who loves Polka and to listen to by that person who likes just hearing an occasional Polka.

 

Let's Dance the Star Trek Polka - If not, please leave some comments anyway

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    • profile image

      Linda Evcic 17 months ago

      I grew up in Metropolitan Cleveland, Ohio ( The Polka Capital of the Nation ) . Since moving to the Metropolitan Washington, DC Area I have to go at least fifty miles to get a decent polka dance. What is the problem? Do all the big-shots in this area like only modern music.

      levcic@verizon.net

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      lobee 2 years ago

      Not much mention of Poland....interesting. Polka actually means Polish girl.....and although polkas were born in Bohemia, it was Poland and Polish style polkas that really made the music famous.....including the basis for polkas in America which are heavily influenced by Polish heritage in places like Chicago and Cleveland.

    • Valerie P Davis profile image

      Valerie Proctor Davis 4 years ago from Birmingham, Alabama

      Hah! Trekkie dancing!

    • profile image

      johnsja 4 years ago

      Polka music is fun. Love the lens.

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      I like the way you presented the Classic Polka on this lens! Interesting and fun! Great lens! God bless.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cool lens well informative Single Mattress

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      Polka dancing is fun, love the lens. The cat picture is cute too.

    • AxeeTech profile image

      AxeeTech 5 years ago

      hahaha funny

    • profile image

      miha188 5 years ago

      Yeah lets dance

      Click here for good dance song

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Great lens - very thorough and I learned a lot. Thanks for featuring Weird Al - he doesn't get another play. Squid Angel Blessed.

    • kathrynd7 profile image

      kathrynd7 5 years ago

      I love going to polka dances with my grandparents! So fun!

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Polka is a big hit in my family, being that I am Polish on my mom's side. And I'll be required to play at least a couple Polkas at my wedding...it just wouldn't be a wedding without it! My grandpa also does a special dance called the Polish Hop.

    • ggruden2 profile image

      ggruden2 5 years ago

      The most famous regiments in the world is still Na Golici!

      Polka is a Slovenian and Czech folk music.

      The most famous artist in Slovenia is Lojze Slak and Vilko Avsenik

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      Polka dance is great when is authentic. I love your lens

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 5 years ago

      I suppose Chekov would say that Polka was "inwented" in Russia and that's why he's the one showing us how its done.

    • profile image

      lucia1990 5 years ago

      Polka Dance is really good...

    • Kae Yo profile image

      Kae Yo 5 years ago

      Loved the weird Al video! Congratulations on making the front page!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Ultra cute lens. Interesting (and maybe a little strange) info on the polka

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've been to a few polka dot themed lenses and you have the first dancing polka dots and they sure go well with your polka theme. We, of course, did the Chicken Polka at my daughter's wedding reception. Done with plenty of polka fun! Chekov must be exhausted by now.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      I like the sound of Polka...it's very festive! Fun lens! ;)