My love is like a red, red rose

Music: Michael Buck. Words: Robert Burns (1759-1796)
SATB with tenor solo
performance time approx 3m 00s
Range S: c' – g'' / A: a – a' / T: c – g' / B: F – f
Price code: B
Complexity: **

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One of Burns' most famous songs. The lyrics are almost certainly in large part Burns' work, and this is the melody for which he wrote them. He took the tune from a girl's singing, and it was subsequently published in the 1796 collection The Scots Musical Museum.

Michael Buck's setting stays very close to the original, and keeps to its six-note scale (no fourth). The first verse is sung to a backdrop of chords, before the song moves into a four part harmonisation with an attractively lean rather than over-lush sound.

The recording is by the Magpie Consort, Ohio, dir. Sheena Phillips, from the album Celtic Voyages.

Pronunciation guide included


Oh my love is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June;
Oh my love is like the melody
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair thou art, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
O fare thee weel, a while;
And I will come again, my love,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!

Robert Burns
(slightly adapted by the arranger)

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