Free Irish Sheet Music
The Minstrel Boy

Free Irish sheet music "The Minstrel Boy" with guitar tabs in two keys, and as a lead sheet in seven keys. (If you are interested in a fleshed-out piano accompaniment, go to this page where there is a beautiful piano arrangement.)

This lovely melody makes a very nice instrumental or vocal solo, and the words pull at the heartstrings.



As when the voice-over at the end of Braveheart says "they fought like warrior-poets", this is a song about a warrior, a soldier, a harper. I love the words the minstrel says to his harp, "Thy songs were made for the pure and free - they shall never sound in slavery!" Then he breaks the strings rather than allow the enemy to capture it whole.

From the movie Black Hawk Down (true story of a horrendous incident in Mogadishu during Bill Clinton's presidency), here is an audio of The Minstrel Boy:



The love of country, and especially the heroism of men embodied in this song, remind me of other Irish songs. Actually, an awful lot of Irish songs do seem to be about battles for freedom, and DEFEAT.  This song is about the faithfulness of a young man, a bard, a warrior-poet, with the final words sung to his harp.

Here is the version with guitar tabs, in both the keys of C and D:

The Minstrel Boy sheet music free

Minstrel Boy Irish music guitar tabs


Download "The Minstrel Boy" with guitar tabs in the key of C 

Download "The Minstrel Boy" with guitar tabs in the key of D 

Fingerpicking is particularly beautiful and well-suited to this free Irish sheet music. The key of D is easier for young guitarists, perhaps, unless they have mastered the F chord (to go with the key of C), but even the Bm and F#m chords in the key of D are not difficult with practice, and with Irish music you are going to end up using the Bm chord pretty early on, so get with it! 

If your student wishes to flat-pick the melody in D, this is a good opportunity to explain "2nd position" to him. That is, using finger 1 in fret 2, finger 2 in fret 3, etc. 

And here are lead sheets for The Minstrel Boy, in seven keys. If you are interested in a fleshed-out piano accompaniment, go to this page where there is a beautiful piano arrangement

Minstrel Boy lead sheet



Download free Irish sheet music "The Minstrel Boy" in key of A 

Download "The Minstrel Boy" in key of Bb 

Download Irish music "The Minstrel Boy" in key of C 

Download Irish music "The Minstrel Boy" in key of D 

Download Irish music "The Minstrel Boy" in key of Eb 

Download Irish music "The Minstrel Boy" in key of F 

Download Irish music "The Minstrel Boy" in key of G 

Listen to this bagpiper! He's great!






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Music has such power to move the heart... do you have a story or a question about this music?

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