Free Irish Sheet Music
White Orange and Green

Free Irish sheet music White, Orange, and Green is a number one favorite song in my music studio.

I give it to voice, piano, and guitar students.

A daring young Irish girl

In a beautiful and very singable melody, it tells the story of a daring young Irish girl who flaunts her country's flag before an English soldier.

Check out all 3 versions offered here:

  • lead sheets, 
  • a piano version, and 
  • guitar tabs.
Lead sheet free Irish sheet music White Orange and Green

Please scroll down the page for the links to the free printable music.

A studio favorite - and little known!

This is a very special song, and in giving you this free Irish sheet music, I am giving you one of the most treasured repertoire pieces in my studio.

Though this folk song is public domain music, you will not find it anywhere else... at least for a while!

Here is one of my beginning voice students (singing with control and clarity, I might add) singing this lovely Irish melody:

A good choice for beginning singers

Beginning singers really enjoy learning White, Orange, and Green.  The tune is fairly intuitive, with a couple of twists, but not hard.  The lyrics are compelling, and kids want to sing them.

Like many Irish songs, very patriotic

It reminds me of another Irish song, Wearing of the Green, in which "they" (the English) have "gone and passed a law against the wearing of the green."

Just as the teller of that story says that he'll keep on wearing the patriotic color until the English can stop the shamrocks from growing green, so in this song the spirited young girl declares she won't give up her banner of white, orange and green until blood has been spilt! 

And moving! Wait for the tears

Whenever I have a student sing this Irish song at a recital, there's always someone in the audience whose eyes fill with tears. (It used to be me, but I've gotten tougher after playing this song some hundreds of times for lessons and performances over the years!)

For guitar players, (see farther down the page) the key of D is perfect.

This song is usually how I introduce the Bm chord to them, and we play each verse with a different style of accompaniment; combination bass plus strum, and different styles of finger-picking.

Lead sheets are important for pianists too

With piano students, this song presents a chord-playing challenge also.

In addition to the arrangement I have written here, I have kids try to give each verse have a different feeling by using a variety of chord patterns.   For that, practicing with a lead sheet is perfect.

Here is a piano arrangement of the free Irish sheet music from Ireland:

Free Irish sheet music for piano White Orange and Green

Good voice training opportunities

This free Irish sheet music tune is easy, but with good opportunities to train your voice students how to sing better. Just working on the phrasing in this song will teach them a lot about breathing for singing.

Beginning singers always want to take breaths right in the middle of sentence clauses. They're just used to it! I like to stop playing the piano, occasionally, and stare at them without a word after they have taken an inappropriate breath, and they know at once what they have done.

They might even breathe right in the MIDDLE of a word - something they would never do if they were TALKING.  Imitate them, by speaking the phrase, then singing it.  They will get it!

Good breathing requires thought

The commas come frequently enough in White, Orange and Green that controlling breathing is really quite easy IF THEY THINK ABOUT IT.

Because the range is small -- only a 9th -- young singers will feel comfortable with the notes... except for one phrase. In the third line, the notes leap up a 6th, and it somehow feels like an extremely high note (by comparison).

Some kids will squeak or pinch it out, imagining unreachable heights.

Practicing without the words

So we may practice that spot with sliding notes (a "siren") to show them that it is easily attainable.

We do the leap on vowels, with humming, with an open back of the throat, with a swelling of the "tummy" to take the pressure off the throat...

It's almost more psychological than physical.

I suggest to them that on the words "her AGE was sixteen" they use the "-r" on the end of "her" to help pop them up onto that high note on the word "age." If they can roll the "r" enough to sound almost like a "d", even better.

A bit of acting helps them enter the story

One fun thing I ask students to try with this song (IF THEY ARE BRAVE ENOUGH) is to put on a fake Irish accent. This may seem corny to some (and won't fool any Irish folks, certainly!) but it helps singers step outside their safety zone and imagine themselves into the story.

This is good for voice students, who need to get used to laying their egos out in front of everybody. (As I tell them from time to time, "You are a singer now, so you have to be willing to look silly. It takes great courage!")

OVER-enunciation

Regarding the pronunciation, encourage your students to EXAGGERATE THE CONSONANTS.  

Particularly with words that are unfamiliar or antiquated, such as "steed", the audience will be baffled if they can't clearly perceive the meaning.  

I instruct my students to pretend they are singing to a group of 3-year-old children, and must enunciate extra clearly.

This Irish song is beautiful on guitar

White, Orange, and Green, with easy guitar tabs:

Free Irish Sheet Music with easy guitar tabs, White, Orange and Green

Trying out different strum & picking patterns

The guitar sounds beautiful fingerpicking this song, and even your young students who prefer strumming are going to want to pick this, for at least a couple of the verses.

The basic pattern I use is also the simplest: T, i, m, r, m, i, repeat. (Thumb, index, middle, ring fingers.)

There are exactly 6 beats that way, instead of 3 for strumming. 

It's good practice for beginning guitar students to have to remember which string is the main note for each chord; every chord except Bm has a root bass note for the Thumb. (Unless you make a barre chord for Bm; my younger students don't use barre chords.)

This piece is unique

I said you wouldn't find this free Irish sheet music White, Orange, and Green anywhere else.

Well, you won't find it precisely like THIS arrangement, and with exactly these words. That's because my daughter, Elizabeth, substituted the words "black steed" for the original syllables, "machine."

Yes, that's right -- the original words talk about the soldier getting off and on his MACHINE.

We'd rather sing about a horse; even better, a black steed!

Also, I have recently run across the same melody used with different lyrics, in an old book.

Folk songs vary greatly

This is surely one of the reasons folk song variations abound! 

Since the original composer is nowhere to be found with this public domain music, you get to decide what you want to say and sing.

Another version of this old song is titled "The Gay Galtee Mountains," with mostly similar words (and an extra verse) but a different tune.

I hope you love this free Irish sheet music as much as we do!




The links to the lead sheets:



Download free Irish lead sheet in D

Download White, Orange & Green in Eb

Download printable lead sheet in F

Download Irish sheet music in key of G



The links for the piano and vocal arrangement:



Download free vocal sheet music White Orange and Green in Key of F


Download folk sheet music in Key of Eb


Download free printout sheet music in Key of D



The link for the song with guitar tabs:



Download free Irish sheet music White, Orange and Green for guitar in the key of D


More Folk Songs to Sing:


All the Pretty Little Horses - a soft and repetitious lullaby, quite pretty


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


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!


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


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


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!


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









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.

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.