Easy Guitar Songs
The Water is Wide

Easy guitar songs that are as beautiful and well-known as The Water is Wide are true treasures. Download these free printable easy guitar songs for yourself or your students. 

This is one of those pieces of folk sheet music that it seems everyone I know sang in high school! 

Easy guitar song The Water is Wide for guitar

Scroll down the page for the links to the free PDF sheets.

One arrangement we sang employed an echo effect, like this: "The water is wide (the water is wide), I cannot get o'er (I cannot get o'er)..." This is very pretty and not too hard. 

Easy guitar song The Water is Wide with guitar tabs  in Key of D

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. 

D sus chord for guitar, illustrated

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. 

A sus guitar chord, illustrated

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 booksFolk 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! 




The links to the easy guitar songs:


Download free guitar sheet music The Water is Wide in the key of G 


Download folk sheet music The Water is Wide for guitar in the key of D 









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

SingTheBibleStory.com clickable logo link

Recent Articles

  1. Queen Esther in the Bible: A Musical Re-telling of the Story

    "Esther-For Such a Time as This", now with an EASY PIANO arrangement. Sing the riveting true story from long ago of how a young queen saved her people.

    Read More

  2. The Erie Canal Song - Guitar Tabs, Easy Piano Sheets, & Lead Sheets

    The Erie Canal Song, still popular after all these years! NOW with 2 easy Middle C arrangements for beginners! Simple piano, lead, & guitar tabs too.

    Read More

  3. Social Distance in the Life of a Music Teacher

    A journal of adapting day by day to social distance as a music teacher - how to easily teach piano, voice, guitar by phone or laptop?

    Read More

  4. Classical Piano Sheet Music - a Collection of Short Introductions

    Classical piano sheet music collection - easy 1-page introductions for note-writing practice & gaining familiarity with the literature.See the newest sonatina!

    Read More

  5. THANK YOU SO MUCH

    I want to express my appreciation for all of the free resources you have posted, with an unimaginable amount of time spent on your part. This is a treasure!

    Read More

  6. Book written about teaching autistics piano students

    Hi. My name is Susan Rancer. I am a Music Therapist and have been working with autistics and other disabilities all of my 44 years of my career. A

    Read More

  7. Just the Black Keys, for the Younger Pianist

    "Just the Black Keys" is a new piano book for young beginners who need more time with simple music. Make that simple music FUN!

    Read More

  8. Bach Minuet in G Classical Piano Music - Original & Easy Arrangements

    The Bach Minuet in G is a famous piece that kids enjoy playing - & now there is an EASY shared-hands arrangement to give your students as well as the original!

    Read More

  9. Loch Lomond Lyrics, Sheet Music & Guitar Tabs, Easy!

    Loch Lomond lyrics and sheet music for all your music students, with arrangements for beginners through advanced, plus lead sheets and guitar tabs!

    Read More

  10. Dinosaur Song Lyrics & An Easy Melody for Beginning Piano

    Dinosaur song lyrics describing a T-rex hunting other dinosaurs from the shadows... but NOT catching them! With easy piano notes and ominous sounds.

    Read More

The Story of Esther - a Bible opera!

Queen Esther in the Bible

This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This",  available as a digital downloadtells the riveting story of the attempted genocide of the Jews in ancient Persia, and the brave young queen who risked her life to change the king's mind and save her people.

A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theatre production, or a class of Sunday School children!

This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.


Just the Black Keys, a piano song book for young beginners.

Just the Black Keys

This book is available as a digital download  from this site.  Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.

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, Volume 1, is a book about a young boy travelling over mountains and fjords from village to village, encountering trolls and helping folk in distress.

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

Celtic Woman Songbook

Lin:
Thank you for a most excellent site. I am a classical guitar teacher, who endeavors to cover chords and finger style as well.

I especially liked the printable Celtic music, as some of my teenage students enjoy it! Thank you, again.

The Fiddler's Fakebook - traditional tunes for violin

Caroline:
I was looking for some easy (classical) pieces to play that wouldn't require much prep.

I hit the jackpot here with classical and other, Celtic, lovely tunes!  Thanks again!

50 Great Irish Love Songs music book

Deb:
Dana, I am a 60 year old woman entering my 8th year of piano lessons.  I stumbled across your website and was so happy to find your Scales and Chords sheets that are downloadable at no cost to me.  

I truly appreciate that you have taken time to post these resources and make them available to others.  I know that this information will be invaluable to me as I continue my journey. 

I cannot thank you enough for the time you put in to your website in order to help others!  

150 American Folk Songs to sing, read, and play music book

Comments

Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!

Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

The Water is Wide: Christmas words! 
Thank you for a great site with lots of ideas ... I'll be coming back often! My choir sings an arrangement of "The Water is Wide" with the …

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, …

Click here to write your own.

Sign up for "Take Note!" to see what's new every month.


About the Author

Dana Thynes

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

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and 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.