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"The Water Is Wide," Lyrics, Text Format

Syncopation in cut time (2/2) with echoed melodic
rhythm patterns.



  • Grade: Fifth
  • Origin: England – Folk Song
  • Key: F Major 
  • Time: 2/2 (4/4)
  • Form: ABCD
  • Rhythm: intermediate: | ta/a_|_a ti ri ti ti | (_=tie) syncopation, | ta/a | (ti) ti ti ti | ta/a_|_a ti ti ti ri | syncopation
  • Pitches: intermediate: So La Ti Do Re Mi Fa So
  • Intervals: beginners: So/Do (P4), Do\La (m3)
  • Musical Elements: notes: whole, quarter, eighth; in cut time (2/2, includes beats and rhythm in 4/4), counting half notes, echo song, pick up beats, tied syncopation, vocal slur, repeated melodic rhythm patterns 
  • Key Words: world geography: England; echo song, love ballad, love song, wings to fly, get o’er, boat, true love, meadows, gay, little thought, bush, sweetest, against, oak, trusty, prove false, planted, buds, blossoms, rose, pleasant smell, excel, bound, childish, break my heart, ship/sailing/sea, sink or swim, handsome, charming, groweth, morning dew; abbreviations: o’er (over) gath’ring (gathering), flow’rs (flowers), flow’r (flower), prick’d (pricked), lean’d (leaned)
  • Recorder: intermediate: introducing high F and G, excellent practice for the high register, tied syncopation, playing in cut time (counting half notes), repeated melodic rhythm patterns

“The Water Is Wide”

The water is wide, I cannot get o’er,
And neither have I wings to fly.
Oh go and get me some little boat
To carry o’er my true love and I.
A-down in the meadows the other day
A-gath’ring flow’rs both fine and gay
A-gath’ring flowers, both red and blue,
I little thought what love could do.
3. I put my hand into one soft bush,
Thinking the sweetest flow’r to find.
I prick’d my finger to the bone
And left the sweetest flow’r alone.
4. I lean’d my back up against some oak,
Thinking it was a trusty tree.
But first he bended then he broke,
So did my love prove false to me.
5. Where love is planted, O there it grows,
It buds and blossoms like some rose;
It has a sweet and pleasant smell,
No flow’r on earth can it excel.
6. Must I be bound, O and she go free!
Must I love one thing that does not love me!
Why should I act such a childish part,
And love a girl that will break my heart.
7. There is a ship sailing on the sea,
She’s loaded deep as deep can be,
But not so deep as in love I am;
I care not if I sink or swim.
8. O love is handsome and love is fine,
And love is charming when it is true;
As it grows older it groweth colder
And fades away like the morning dew.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"The Water Is Wide," Music Format
Click to enlarge: "The Water Is Wide," Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "The Water Is Wide," Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "The Water Is Wide," Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "The Water Is Wide," Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "" Letter Names Format