Raggle-Taggle Gypsies, O!
The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies is an exciting song for your singers! It is an old song, with a catchy melody easy to learn.
Something about this piece really grabs students, especially young singers - but piano players too, who sing to themselves at home.
Different arrangements & the lyrics
I've created several versions in several keys... lead sheets, piano/vocal accompaniments, and a shared-hands arrangement for early piano students. Also find the lyrics near the bottom of the page, if you want to copy them.
There are two lead sheet arrangements in Am; one high, and one low (like the gypsy singers, "One sang high, and the other sang low")! This is the low version.
The piano/vocal arrangement
Striving for a lighter touch, I've incorporated some broken chords into the accompaniment for singers:
A beginner arrangement
Because this melody ranges far, it is not suitable for beginners, unless the melody can be split between the hands.
The arrangement below is STILL not particularly easy, because it uses a couple of ledger line notes, and eighth notes, which are inherently frightening to some children!
I suggest having them play the chords at first, while YOU play the melody! Let them warm up to the song and get familiar with the rhythms. Their "chords" could be as simple as a single bass note... or an open "fifth" - what some teachers call a chord "shell."
Okay, an open 5th would mean that "Am" = a + e in the left hand. A "G" chord = g + d. (See illustrations of this method on the page Mary Had a Little Lamb.)
The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies, O!
There were three gypsies come to my door, and downstairs ran this a-lady O!
One sang high, and the other sang low, and the other sang bonny bonny Biscay, O!
Then she pulled off her silk-finished gown, and put on hose of leather, O!
The ragged, ragged rags about our door, She's gone with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!
It was late last night, when my lord came home, enquiring of his lady O!
The servants said on ev'ry hand, She's gone with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!
O, saddle to me my milk-white steed. Go and fetch me my pony, O!
That I may ride and seek my bride, who is gone with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!
O, he rode high and he rode low, He rode through woods and copses too,
Until he came to an open field, and there he espied his lady, O!
What makes you leave your house and land? What makes you leave your money, O?
What makes you leave your new wedded lord, to go with the raggle taggle gypsies, O?
What care I for my house and my land? What care I for my money, O?
What care I for my new wedded lord? I'm off with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!
Last night you slept on a goosefeather bed, with the sheet turned down so bravely, O!
And tonight you'll sleep in a cold open field, along with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!
What care I for a goosefeather bed with the sheet turned down so bravely, O?For tonight I shall sleep in a cold open field, aloong with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!
The sheet music links
The lead sheets:
Download Raggle-Taggle Gypsies lead sheet in Am, high
Download the vocal lead sheet in Am, low
Download lead sheet in Cm
Download Gypsies lead sheet in Dm
The piano arrangement:
Download piano-vocal arrangement in Cm
Download Raggle-Taggle Gypsies, O for piano and voice in Dm
The link for the beginner shared-hands piano arrangement:
Download the song for beginner piano students with shared-hands melody
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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.