Sad Love Songs for Voice:
Molly Bawn

Sad love songs such as Molly Bawn (or Molly Ban) draw voice students to work hard to be expressive.

Young girls seem to be fascinated by the words and the mood of Molly Bawn; the song tells a story with such clear imagery: a young hunter, a swan, the white apron, the rain shower, the bush... and Molly Bawn going to her uncle's.

I am such a softy that occasionally I still am overcome by tears even as I sit at the piano, instructing a voice student.

Here is my simple arrangement.  I offer it here in three keys:

English ballad Molly Bawn free sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

I first fell in love with this sad song when I heard Alison Kraus sing it (on her CD  A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection) ... my simple 2-chord accompaniment attempts to capture some of the feeling of the arrangement used in her recording. 

Molly Bawn has a range of only an octave plus one note, yet learning the melody requires a bit of work for beginning singers.

Just like a real story, each verse has words with different syllables, and the accent or emphasis will shift about. This is hard for young singers who are used to regular, metrical phrases.

So in order to sing this song convincingly, singers must go over and over each verse to craft it, allowing the emphasis of the words to match the musical emphasis, especially on beat one.

The arrangement of the notes-to-words that I have here is only a match-up of the notes to verse one.

Alison Kraus sings Molly Bawn in a fairly low key, but some of my students have not been able to give the melody power down in a low register, so for them, I use a slightly higher setting to take advantage of a their voices.

The main thing when singing this song is for the audience to actually be able to follow the story, so the words need to have clarity and volume!

This is a very simple arrangement of this song; I actually tend to embellish the chords here when I accompany students, filling in missing chord tones in the right hand, softly touching higher notes and octaves, playing lots of open 5ths in accord with the feeling of this folk tune.

But if you understand how to use chords, you can already do this... if you don't do it easily, then an arrangement such as is written here will probably be more welcome to you!


I hope this song brings some heart-felt drama into your students' music-making! 





The links to the vocal music:


Download sad love songs Molly Bawn in A position 


Download free printable vocal sheet music Molly Bawn in C position


Download free vocal sheet music Molly Ban in D position 














Recent Articles

  1. WIN BIG With the Easy New Lake Pirates

    TODAY gave one of my youngest students the newest and easiest version of The Lake Pirates. SCORE!!! HE READ "THE LAKE PIRATES STRAIGHT" THROUGH. AMAZING. He was very excited about it, too! I almost ha…

    Read More

  2. Free Printable Piano Sheet Music - Three Versions, The Lake Pirates!

    Free printable piano sheet music for early to late beginners. Now with a Middle C arrangement with pirate lyrics! Very easy to late elementary.

    Read More

  3. The Snowman Theme: Walking In the Air Piano Music

    This sparkling piano arrangement of the main musical theme from The Snowman will win your students' hearts and imaginations with its beauty.

    Read More

  4. Storybook Love - "The Princess Bride" Movie Soundtrack Music

    Storybook Love - Mark Knopfler's "The Princess Bride" movie soundtrack music is one of the prettiest movie themes ever. Now in the key of C!

    Read More

  5. O Susanna Easy Piano & Guitar Sheet Music

    O Susanna is a song from the olden days of gold panning, and it's still fun to sing and play! Get the sheet music for beginning piano, and easy tabs for guitar here.

    Read More

  6. Toccata by Monteverdi for Piano Trio, or Piano Ensemble

    Toccata, from an opera: vigorous & bright trio and ensemble arrangements with lots of rhythm - surprisingly EASY & FUN! With many rehearsal suggestions.

    Read More

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

Sara Bareilles Love Song sheet music

Danielle:
What a lovely, generous site! Many thanks from a fellow singer and music teacher in New York State.

Loved the inclusion of the video for "The Ash Grove," a song I just recommended to an adult voice student today. I was pleased to be able to send her the link to not only the sheet music, but a charming performance of the song as well.

50 Great Irish Love Songs music book

Krista:
Thank you thank you thank you!! I have recently started my own vocal studio, and though I have studied music education for years in college, a private studio is a daunting task for me.

Your site has made everything seem so simple and straightforward and has helped me to really get started. It is so comprehensive and well put together. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge so that music can be shared everywhere. :)

Dana:
Good for you! Yes, I know just what you mean. Every new endeavor requires a little bit of chutzpah -- not to say just brazening it out a bit, because you just can't be an expert at anything until you've done it for a while. We  teachers have to learn how to teach... and you have to start somewhere.

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.