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 sing-able melody, it tells the story of a daring young Irish girl who flaunted her country's flag before an English soldier, when Ireland was occupied by the British.  Her boldness and stand for justice reminds me of Katniss in The Hunger Games.

I recently arranged two new sheets, a lead sheet with fingering, and a Middle C arrangement so young beginners can sing this song too.  Altogether, there are:

  • lead sheets, 
  • a full piano arrangement
  • a Middle C shared-hands melody version
  • guitar tabs.

The newest lead sheet, with fingering:

White, Orange and Green for piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

I was amazed at how quickly my students began picking up the melody line when I added this fingering to their sheets.  The jump with the thumb that occurs toward the end of the first line (and again in the next line) is unorthodox, and it isn't, of course, the way I finger these notes myself when I am playing, but suddenly, they could play all the way through!  Try it, you'll see what I mean.

In the key of Eb, no fingering

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.  Even after years of giving it to students, I still can get tears in my eyes from a well-executed rendition of the story-song.

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:

An easy version for beginners:

Irish song for beginner piano

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

You may notice that Middle C is taken by the left hand and NOT the right hand.  The right hand has to reach all the way up to "A," and if the thumb is stuck on Middle C as our beginners so often do, they won't play the "A."  

Add your own fingering!

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!")


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

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

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 the newest lead sheet in F, with fingering for pianists

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 link for the new Middle C arrangement:

Download easy arrangement for beginners of the free Irish sheet music

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

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of, 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 About Me page.