Once I Had a Sweetheart 
Free Vocal Sheet Music

Once I Had a Sweetheart, an Appalachian folk song with piano accompaniment in three keys.

This lovely and wistful tune won my heart the very first time I heard it... chances are your beginning voice students will love it too! 

This beautiful and singable Appalachian song has been sung by a number of folk artists, including Joan Baez. I think the soundtrack on this video is her voice in concert, singing in the key of B: 


Because this free vocal sheet music is a folk tune, you will find slightly different versions of the lyrics, some with more verses than others.

And not surprisingly, there is also a different melody for these words, which has been arranged for band (a very pretty tune in 4/4 time - you can listen to the band version by hunting on this page at Sheetmusicplus for the "Listen" button).

I like the melody I have arranged here the best: 

Appalachian love song

Free folk music for singers

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Here is a different set of chords with the same melody, in three keys: 

free vocal sheet music Once I Had a Sweetheart

Appalachian love song

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

I have to admit that even after finishing these two arrangements of the folk song, I still keep playing with the chords.  

I've also decided that I prefer a slightly different rhythm at measure 1 of the last line - a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth, as performed by Marianne Faithfull (find her on YouTube).  

I guess that's why it's hard to pin down the "authentic" version of any folk song - people keep tweaking it!  You will find a number of singers performing this song on YouTube - recommend to your students that they choose a favorite version.

It's a good idea for your beginning singers to listen to how other singers have performed a song. Imitation of other singers' styles is an excellent way to learn how to sing better. 





The links for the first arrangement:


Download folk song "Once I Had a Sweetheart", key of A 


Download Appalachian folk song in Bb 


Download folk song in key of C 



The links for the second arrangement:


Download free vocal sheet music "Once I Had a Sweetheart", key of A


Download free vocal music in the key of B


Download free sheet music in the key of C 





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!


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.


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!

SingTheBibleStory.com clickable logo link

Recent Articles

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Free Printable Sheet Music for Piano Students: Irish Wedding

    Free printable sheet music "Irish Wedding". TWO SIMPLE, intuitive versions for your 1st-year kids are the newest arrangements of this compelling piece!

    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

Comments

Do you have a story or even a question about this vocal piece? Share 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...

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.