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:
Please scroll down the page for the download links.
Here is a different set of chords with the same melody, in three keys:
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 & Traditional Songs
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Down by the Salley Gardens - this pretty song from England is a setting for a poem by William Butler Yeats with a warning for those who wish to hurry love
Erie Canal - a vigorous minor melody that kids like, with lots of repeating phrases
Green Bushes - a fast, light, pretty melody that speaks of false-hearted love, and feels very "English" in both lyrics and chord progressions
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Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier - Lovely. Important for breath control and learning to mold a phrase
Lavender's Blue, a pretty song that is VERY simple to sing! Perfect for young girls just starting out. Many basics of singing can be taught with this easy song!
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Molly Bawn - So sad, but so IRRESISTIBLE. Lovely and evocative, and requiring good air support, it is educational as well as being satisfying to the musical soul
Muss i denn or Abschied (Wooden Heart) - from Germany by way of Elvis, an adorable folk tune!
Once I Had a Sweetheart - another sad, pretty, and image-arousing song, once sung by Joan Baez
Parting Glass - There are many versions of this GREAT Irish melody. Download mine free, then check out others!
Scarborough Fair - an old favorite from England, still lovely
She Moved Through the Fair - a strange, shifting melody, with almost creepy lyrics that will haunt you
Shenandoah - So pretty, and genuinely American. Long phrases, good breath control practice
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The Spanish Lady - Upbeat and energetic, this 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
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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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...
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