Beginner Keyboard Music Sheets
The Water is Wide

Beginner keyboard music sheets as beautiful as The Water is Wide will win your piano students over with storybook lyrics and a lovely melody.  Now with a beautiful solo piano arrangement, in two keys, F and G!

The Water is Wide piano music

*Listen to a recording of this arrangement in the key of F*


Folk song sheet music from England

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

It has taken me years to get back to this beautiful song and make an arrangement for accompanying voice.  This version is only easy if you have facility with chords...

If the long running chords in the left hand are too difficult, then I suggest just making use of the chord symbols, and using very basic chords as your left hand part.

If you have a friend with a guitar who can accompany you, may I suggest the arrangement in the key of G?  Easier chords for the guitarist.

A beginner version

Beginner keyboard music sheets The Water is Wide

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Easy sight reading practice

Students enjoy easy sight reading music, pieces with which they are almost instantly successful, especially when they are as pretty as The Water is Wide.

But I don't use beginner keyboard music sheets like this song merely for sight reading or supplemental purposes. 

Charlotte Church sings the pretty rendition below:

Chord symbols make duets easy

Once students are familiar with the melody, we turn it into a duet by adding chords - or at least, chord SYMBOLS to work with:

The Water is Wide easy piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

HOW to add chords for a duet

I encourage students to play chords with both hands, starting simply, with perhaps one chord per measure, then two chords, and eventually (maybe even the first week) broken chords. See the examples below. 

Chord pattern suggestions for The Water is Wide

Six different chords in this song

One of the things I love about this song is that it uses (in this arrangement) every one of the 6 chords that belong in the key of C. 

C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am...they are all here. What good practice for budding pianists!

But what is a Gsus chord?

The Gsus (G suspended) chord in these beginner keyboard music sheets is usually something new for them. 

I explain that a suspension is when the middle note of the chord is "hidden" for a few beats in such a way that we wait expectantly (musically speaking) to hear what it will be.

The suspended chord creates a feeling of waiting, waiting... until finally we hear the note we have been longing for -- the resolution into the regular, usual chord.  It's so pretty!  

Essentially, the "b" in the middle of the G chord is replaced by a "c."

Then we lose the "c" at the beginning of the next measure with the resolution into the "b" note.  It has the feeling of a sigh, released.

I have suggested a G7 chord in a couple of places in one or two of the beginner keyboard music sheets, but a plain G chord is just fine.

A version without eighth notes

Here is an easy-counting version, for younger students who are flustered by the eighth notes.  The timing is doubled.

Easy piano song The Water is Wide without eighth notes

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Spot the rests

One thing to watch out for when teaching the melody: the quarter rests are almost invisible to the typical student eye, and many students will look right past them!

So I often hand students a red pen and say,

"There are 8 rests hiding in this song. Can you find them?"

They always can, when I put it that way! Then they quickly circle the rests, and we play through the song singing like this:

"One-two-three-four, REST! The wa-ter is wide, two-three-four, REST! I can-not get o'er, two-three-four, REST!" You get the idea. I have found this to be very effective in this song.

Other names for this song

I own two great folk song books that include this song, except the name given in the books is "O Waly, Waly."

Both books, Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales, and One Hundred English Folksongs, have 8 verses of lyrics, of which 3 verses are almost identical to the lyrics I have used here.

I also have lead sheets of The Water is Wide in several keys (more suitable for singing than the key of C for this song) that you can play on piano or guitar.

Enjoy this song!  I'll bet your students will.



The links to the intermediate piano solos:



Download the piano/vocal arrangement in the key of F (shown)



Download the piano solo in the key of G




The links to the Middle C beginner arrangements:



Download free kids sheet music The Water is Wide, in Middle C position, with shared-hands melody



Download The Water is Wide for beginner piano with chord symbols



The Water is Wide Doubled Timing free sheet music to print 



Do you need a beautiful but easy solo for a young beginning singer?  Check out a simple song used in Cinderella, "Lavender's Blue"!








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.