Something I like to do with my guitar students when reading the tablature is to hunt for all the eighth notes, by looking in the staff above. When we spot the "fast" notes, we take a pen or pencil and "hook" the tab notes beneath together to make them look like the eighth notes in the staff.
The Dsus (D suspended) and Asus (A suspended) chords are interesting and beautiful -- quite unlike other beginner chords -- and it is usually in this song that my guitar students are first exposed to them.
The way I have illustrated the suspended chords may be different from how you have seen them shown in other chord charts:
I tell my students that the basic root of the chord is still there, plus one finger added that will lift off when the chord "resolves" into the root chord.
That's why you see one string with two fingers on it: just build a regular D or A chord, then add your pinky (finger 4 for guitarists) to add the sound of "suspense." The longer this chord is held, the longer the listener is waiting with expectation for the beauty of the resolution into the regular chord.
I own two great folk song books that include this song, except the name given in both of the books is "O Waly, Waly."
Both books, Folk Songs by William Cole ("Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales" edited by William Cole with music arrangements by Norman Nomath), and One Hundred English Folksongs by Cecil Sharp, have 8 verses of lyrics, of which 3 verses are almost identical to the lyrics I have used here.
The book by William Cole is especially handy, because it has simple piano accompaniments, and chord symbols for guitarists, giving you lots of easy guitar songs!
The book edited by Cecil Sharp has some wonderful songs in it, but no chord symbols, and the piano accompaniments tend toward being a bit heavy, even difficult, and maybe somewhat "Romantic" in flavor. Not so suitable for playing along with a fiddle, for example.
If you have never sung or played this English folk song before, get ready for a treat for yourself and your students. A little secret: GIRLS LOVE THIS SONG!
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The Water is Wide: Christmas words!
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My choir sings an arrangement
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Reminds Me of High School I sang a song very similar to this one when I was in High School. It was "Across the Wide Missouri" (the version as sung by Ray Price), and you're right, …
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Lin: Thank you for a most excellent site. I am a classical guitar teacher, who endeavors to cover chords and fingerstyle as well. I especially liked the printable Celtic music, as some of my teenage students enjoy it! Thank you, again.
Kelly-Ann: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....I have a lot of books on graded pieces but not a lot of beginner pieces. I use material I have written myself together with books I encourage my parents to buy... but sometimes parents just can't afford a book- and as a teacher you sometimes do find your self searching for material....Thank you thank you thank you once again!
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