Loveliest of Sad Songs,
The Grenadier and the Lady

Sad songs such as The Grenadier and the Lady are likely to be among your students' favorite music. Get:

  • free vocal sheet music and 
  • piano accompaniment and
  • easy guitar tabs for this traditional English ballad.
Sad songs Grenadier and the Lady sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

The Grenadier and the Lady is a great song for a beginning singer. The range is only an octave, and the melody stays mostly in the middle, with two little climbs to the top. It is easily memorized, as it tells a story. And the phrases are very singable -- no hard parts.

Yet the song has many opportunities for breath control practice. Even the first phrase, "As I was a-walking one morning in May..." offers the temptation to take a little breath after "a-walking."

Singers don't need to breathe there...make them get at least to the comma!

Generally, the phrases of this song should not be interrupted by a breath.  I make an exception down at the bottom line, and allow a breath before the last 5 notes if it seems necessary...and always on the final verse, where a ritard is natural.

The Grenadier and the Lady is one of the most hauntingly beautiful sad songs your students will ever love. Well, you don't really know how sad it is unless you read between the lines of "O soldier, O soldier, will you marry me?'

I first heard this lovely ballad in the movie Far from the Madding Crowd with Julie Christie, Terence Stamp and Alan Bates. It is a fascinating film, set in a sometimes bleak landscape, based on the book by Thomas Hardy.

Listen to the movie excerpt from "Far from the Madding Crowd". This is a stirring performance, especially if you are caught up in the story.

Here, Sergeant Troy, a British Grenadier, has just buried the woman he truly loves (it is not his new-married wife), and his infant son whom he never met. You can't help but think, "If only...if only..." 


This is a story about choices, careless choices that ruin many lives.

It is a good use for this beautiful English ballad. In verse 2, the soldier asks the lady where she is going, and I almost think in a foreshadowing of heaven, she replies "I am going a-walking by the clear crystal stream..." 

But folk songs are not like classical musicso the reason I'm picky about phrasing in this English ballad is because I want to train students to breathe for singing: 

- to take quick breaths and long exhalations, and to observe natural pauses in the sentence structure. Breathing for singing has to become a habit.

Pianists who want to play this song may find the extra melody notes confusing. 

Of course, the extra voicings are there to accommodate the rhythm changes which occur with the different words in each verse. I have made an easy piano version for students with fingering but no left hand -- just chord symbols. 

Lead sheet for Grenadier and the Lady or Emigrant's Daughter

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Here is a version for guitarists who love sad songs.  Finger-picking is very beautiful with this piece.

Easy guitar tabs for Grenadier and the Lady or Emigrant's Daughter

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

You can listen to a beautiful classical-style guitar rendition of The Grenadier and the Lady by Denio, who first encountered the song here on my site and was moved to arrange it for guitar. Denio, if you are out there, I still want the PDF for your lovely arrangement if you are willing to share it!

Denio said:

I'm a classical guitarist (who loves melancholic tunes) and I just wanted to thank you for introducing me to the beautiful tune The Grenadier and The Lady (The Bold Grenadier) here on your site. I arranged the tune for solo guitar and you can hear and see my performance on YouTube.

I hope you enjoy my performance and if you'd like the sheet music for your students I'd gladly send you a PDF.

I'd say it's high intermediate to advanced difficulty. I also want to thank you for introducing me to the film Far From The Madding Crowd with Julie Christie which I borrowed from the library and absolutely loved it!

The music from the film was composed by the great Richard Rodney Bennett who has written for the classical guitar so that was a nice surprise. Thanks again and keep up all the great music and teaching for everybody here on the internet and in real life.

Best,

Denio (GuitarRomancer on YouTube) 





The links for the vocals plus piano:


Download free vocal sheet music with piano accompaniment, sad songs "The Grenadier and the Lady" in Am


Free vocal sheet music with piano in the key of Gm


The Bold Grenadier in Fm for voice and piano


Easy piano music for The Grenadier and the Lady with note names inside the note heads (not shown)



The guitar tabs link:


Easy guitar tabs for The Grenadier and the Lady 





More Folk Songs to Sing:


All the Pretty Little Horses - a soft and repetitious lullaby, quite pretty


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


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


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


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!


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








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.