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


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

Download Appalachian folk song in Bb 

Download folk song in key of C 

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


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 

At O'Neill Brothers website is a piano version of this song with more and varied chords -- very pretty. To hear it, go to www.piano-brothers.com and select "Sheetmusic", then search alphabetically for "Once I Had a Sweetheart."

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. 




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