I Gave My Love a Cherry
The Riddle Song
I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song) is a very pretty folk tune with initially puzzling, but clever lyrics. Students will be intrigued as they read the solution to the riddle.
Download the sheet music as a lead sheet, an early intermediate piano arrangement, or a beginner Middle C version.
*Listen to a recording of I Gave My Love a Cherry*
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
This song's lyrics may puzzle students
I loved this song as a girl, but admit to being mystified by some of the lyrics for years. What was a cherry "stone?" In my part of the country, we used the term "pit" instead. Of course, a blooming flower hasn't developed a fruit yet, so it has no stone.
But what is "pippin'?" No one ever told me, so I eventually looked that word up... Turns out, that is the stage of an egg before the chicken has developed.
A version for beginners
Turn this song into a duet by supplying the chords for your student. Not sure how to do that? Get started by reading through my page Free Lead Sheets.
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
The third part of the riddle, "I gave my love a story that has no end," is not the way that I knew it as a child. What I learned was, "I gave my love a ring, that has no end."
I like "story" much better! Because the answer to the riddle of the never-ending story is sweet, whereas the answer to the riddle of the ring doesn't really make much sense: "A ring when it's rolling, it has no end..."
Lead sheet arrangements
In the key of G
The key of G is easier for beginning violinists and guitarists.
The links for the sheet music:
Download Riddle Song in the key of D for piano
Download I Gave My Love a Cherry for the piano in the key of F
Download piano arrangement in the key of G
The link for the beginner arrangement:
Download the Middle C arrangement
The links for the lead sheets:
Download the lead sheet for the Riddle Song in D
Download the lead sheet I Gave My Love in F
Download lead in the key of G
More Folk Songs to Sing:
Ae Fond Kiss - a love song about saying goodbye, from Scotland
All the Pretty Little Horses - a soft and repetitious lullaby, quite pretty
Ash Grove - a famous and lovely song from Wales
Auld Lang Syne - the New Year's Eve song!
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
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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!
Lavender's Blue - this simple song is not only satisfying for beginning pianists, but also young singers who need to focus on basics. With a lovely piano accompaniment.
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Parting Glass - a well-known Irish tune which my singers always love
Raggle-Taggle Gypsies - a story about a young bride who abandons her wealthy new husband to go off with the gypsies. A catchy melody!
Riddle Song - the pretty song that speaks of giving a cherry without a stone, a chicken without a bone, a baby with no crying.
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!
The Wellerman - a sea chanty that is very singable, and very fun!
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. I never get tired of this song.
Wexford Carol lyrics & sheet music, in time for Christmas! A very elegant arrangement in several keys, plus new easy arrangements for beginners!
Merry Merry Christmas singing round is fast & pretty, and you may have never heard it before! Super simple lyrics. Get the free sheet music here.
Canon sheet music for beginners. Maybe THE EASIEST CANON arrangement in the world, with broken chords! Seven different versions, & a duet arrangement.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas sheet music for early piano. The entire poem by Clement C. Moore is here, with a rhythmic melody that is easy to play & sing!
Down to the River to Pray, sheet music in the keys of F & G, piano & lead sheets. A satisfying & pretty early intermediate piano arrangement!
Songs Old & Songs New
All the first-year material I give my beginner students.
Piano keyboard sheets, scales, chords, note-reading exercises, and over 256 pages of music!
Queen Esther in the Bible
This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This", available as a digital download, tells the riveting story of the time when Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a brave young queen risked her life to save her people.
A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!
This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.
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
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
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About the Author
Hi, I'm Dana! (Say that like "Anna".) I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.
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.