Down by the Salley Gardens
Down by the Salley Gardens is a pretty English song with poetic words by William Butler Yeats.
On this page you'll find the piece in seven different keys as lead sheets, and a few different keys for piano as well.
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
Here is a beautiful violin rendition of this piece by Retaw Boyce of Australia: VIDEO
This song has many slurred notes for the singer: view these as learning opportunities! Students need to be able to interpret notes and musical symbols, and it is surprising (to me) how often young singers will be baffled by the slurs in a vocal line.
I like them to be intelligent music "map readers" against that future day when they will become part of a choir; I want them to be an asset, not a drag on the group!
You never know just how particular students will react to a new song, especially a song as old-fashioned as this one. But I actually had a young singer once beg me for "Down by the Salley Gardens" after she had been introduced to it at a summer Fine Arts Camp. It just goes to show you that good music is going to be loved, if given a chance.
Fortunately, I found an arrangement in this
. There are about 100 songs in this book, including a few I have on this site, often with different melodies or lyrics. Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland, & Wales
Is Down by the Sally Gardens a folk song? Perhaps the tune is, but the words by Yeats are less than 150 years old... however, it FEELS like a folk song!
Steven from Ireland is pretty sure this is NOT an English song, but an Irish tune:
Perhaps I might be wrong here, but the song “The Sally Gardens” is an Irish song, not an English song. It was written in 1889, before Ireland became independent from the United Kingdom. It could technically be described as a British song, because at the time, Ireland was being governed from London. This would, however, completely ignore the social and cultural background of the country at the time. Yeats was among those at the forefront of an Irish cultural revival which was taking place at the time. This was a response to 200 years or more of repression of Irish language, music, sport, poetry etc. There may be many versions of the song recorded by English musicians. This tends to happen with most folk songs.
Irish, Scottish, American, English folk musicians borrow songs and instrumental pieces from each other. But the origins of a piece should not be lost.
Here is my own piano accompaniment for this lovely song:
Please scroll down the page for the download links. If I have time, I'll make more keys available for this piano accompaniment.
Meantime, here is another lovely rendition of Salley Gardens, this time a vocal version, by Laura Wright: VIDEO
What is a "salley garden"? A garden full of willows.
The links for the lead sheets: Download lead sheet Down by the Salley Gardens in the key of A
Download Down by the Salley Gardens in the key of Bb
Download Salley Gardens in the key of C Download song in the key of D
Download Down by the Sally Gardens in Eb
Download English song in the key of F
Download lead sheet Down by the Sally Gardens in G
The link for the piano accompaniment:
Download piano accompaniment for Salley Gardens in D
More Folk Songs to Sing: Ae Fond Kiss - a love song about saying goodbye, from Scotland All the Pretty Little Horses - a soft and repetitious lullaby, quite pretty Ash Grove - a famous and lovely song from Wales Auld Lang Syne - the New Year's Eve song! Colorado Trail Song - an American tune written by a real cowboy Come By the Hills - another popular Irish melody Down By the Salley Gardens - a famous and pretty song, very sweet Green Bushes - a brisk little song that is pretty while being good for breath control training Grenadier and the Lady - my favorite folk song of all. Find out why I Gave My Love a Cherry - the "Riddle Song" is very pretty Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier - very beautiful, very moving, and a chance for your young singer to learn how to let her voice soar Keegan's Waltz - this is a traditional Gaelic tune, but the lyrics are very new, supplied by a visitor to this site! Lavender's Blue - this simple song is not only satisfying for beginning pianists, but also young singers who need to focus on basics. With a lovely piano accompaniment. Loch Lomond - the famous and sad song about never meeting again Mari's Wedding - a singable tune with bouncy chords that is fun to play or sing Minstrel Boy - a lovely and patriotic song about a warrior-poet Molly Bawn - a sad story of a young hunter who thought he was shooting at a swan Morning Has Broken - a beautiful melody made famous again by Cat Stevens Once I Had a Sweetheart - "but now I have none!" Very pretty, and little-known. Parting Glass - a well-known Irish tune which my singers always love Raggle-Taggle Gypsies - a story about a young bride who abandons her wealthy new husband to go off with the gypsies. A catchy melody! Riddle Song - the pretty song that speaks of giving a cherry without a stone, a chicken without a bone, a baby with no crying. Scarborough Fair - an old and famous tune of lost love She Moved Through the Fair - this sounds happy, but it is actually a bit of a love story, and a bit of a ghost story! Shenandoah - a famous and lovely American tune with ambiguous lyrics Skye Boat Song - a pretty song from Scotland about the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie over the sea Spanish Ladies - a minor key sea chanty that swings energetically along - BOYS like singing it too! The Spanish Lady - Upbeat and energetic, this Irish song is fun to perform with a group Star of the County Down - LOTS of fun to sing and play! An excellent ensemble piece Waltzing Matilda - an unusually pretty melody from Australia; you know this one! Very popular with kids The Water is Wide - a very pretty song about disappointed love. You might have sung this one in high school! The Wellerman - a sea chanty that is very singable, and very fun!
White, Orange and Green - though not widely known, this charming melody about fighting for the right to carry the flag of Ireland has stirring lyrics and soaring phrases. A favorite of my vocal & guitar students. I never get tired of this song.
I Love You, Lord sheet music - a beautiful arrangement for advancing piano students, plus a guitar tabs sheet that is very easy. In the keys of F and G.
All My Trials & Hold On - whether these are gospel or spiritual songs, they are bluesy in feeling, & satisfying to play! See what your students think.
This free piano sheet music PDF for beginners is really a fiddle tune! But don't tell your piano players, as it makes a rambunctious, easy duet! Now with Part 2.
Best piano books - or at least, the ones I find myself using over and over again in my music studio! Here are my favorites.
Free hymn sheet music to touch hearts, "Softly and Tenderly" is about going home -- the final home. Easy & advanced piano versions, lead sheet & guitar tabs.
Songs Old & Songs New All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
Queen Esther in the Bible This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This", , available as a digital download tells the riveting story of the time when Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a brave young queen risked her life to save her people. A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!
This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.
Just the Black Keys This book is available as a from this site. Visit this page to see some free examples from the book. digital download It is also available from Amazon as a paperback ! This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!" They will be spending more time at the piano.
The Adventures of Tonsta A perfect read aloud storybook for little boys or girls. The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble. With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes. Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!
Available at Amazon
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Dana! (Say that like "Anna".) I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site,
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
page. About Me