The Parting Glass
An Irish Song

The Parting Glass is a tender song, an Irish song that speaks of memory, of friends, and of sorrow at going away.

It is also beautiful

You and your students will enjoy playing and singing it.

Irish song The Parting Glass

Scroll down the page for the links to the free printable PDF files in several keys for Parting Glass.

You can get buy the recording here at Amazon of the Wailin' Jennys performing this song.

The difficulty of multiple versions with folk tunes

Because the versions of this Irish song vary so greatly, it was hard for me to make sense of it at first, and to really pin down the heart of the melody.

After multiple listenings to a number of different performers, I settled on this short version of The Wailin' Jennys as the standard that I would use for my lead sheets.  

Have a listen to other recordings of The Parting Glass and see what you think. 

NEWS FLASH!!! Get the Wailin' Jennys' arrangement!

The Wailin' Jennys have made a sheet music arrangement of their excellent trio available, for sale, on this page: 

http://www.thewailinjennys.com/store/sheet-music/parting-glass-sheet-music/

This is an a capella arrangement.  I have used it in several recitals so far - students and audiences LOVE IT.

Sinead O'Connor's rendition is also short:

Here is a very interesting arrangement by The Gentlemen of the College of William and Mary.  It is long and complicated, with changes to the tune:

I read, but do not know for a certainty, that the arrangement used by The Gentlemen of the College is the same one that can be found in the Celtic Woman songbook "Believe."  

The song "The Parting Glass" is certainly in that book, but I haven't had the opportunity to see the arrangement.




Here are the links to the lead sheets:



Download The Parting Glass in the key of Bm



Download free Irish sheet music in the key of Cm



Download Irish traditional song in Dm



Download free vocal sheet music in Em



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


I Gave My Love a Cherry - the "Riddle Song" is very pretty


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


Morning Has Broken - a beautiful melody made famous again by Cat Stevens


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


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. 







Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

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.