The Water Is Wide waltz

Also known as O Waly, Waly.

There are 27 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with The Meeting Of The Waters (a few times).

The Water Is Wide has been added to 1 tune set.

The Water Is Wide has been added to 6 tunebooks.

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Three settings

X: 1
T: The Water Is Wide
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
D2 G2 GA | B4 AA | G2 E2 HD2 | D2 G2 F2 | G6 | A2 B2 cB | A6 |
G2 A2 Bc | d4 c2 | B4 AG | B6 | A2 G2 E2 | D4 D2 |D4 EF | G6 |
X: 2
T: The Water Is Wide
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
M:4/4
z A, D/D/ E | F4- | F F/E/ D B, | A,4- | A, A, D C | D4- |
D E/F/ G F | E4- | E E F G | A4- |
A G/F/ E D | F4- |
F E D B, | A,4- | A, A, B,/ D E/ | D4- | D z z2 |]
X: 3
T: The Water Is Wide
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
[M: 4/4]
[L: 1/4]
A/ d/d/ e | f4- | f3/2 e/ e/d B/ | A4- | A2 d c |
d4- | d e/f/ g f | e4- | e3/2 e/ f g |
a4- | a g/f/ e d | f4- |f e d B |
A4- | A A B/ d c/ | d4- | d3/2 :|

Twenty-four comments

The Water Is Wide

Also known as O Waly, Waly, a mournful song of lost love. English I think but it has travelled widely. I was
surprised not to find it on TheSession already, so well known as a song. There must be lots of different versions.

Re: The Water Is Wide

I think Sharp got this in Somerset but, yes, it’s been all over.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain did a tour playing English folk songs and named the tour "Waly Waly on the ukulele"!

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Re: The Water Is Wide

Scottish as well as Irish as well as ? an Australian version, the Scottish version being pretty old. I won’t spell it all out but if interested check Wikipedia (although it does say the page contains a lot of miscellaneous information!)
: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Water_Is_Wide_(song).
Mairi Campbell does a lovely version of Waly, Waly - using the Ramsay’s Tea Table miscellany version of 1724.
P.s, Never heard it in 3/4 time: always been a slow 4/4 with the long notes held for 5 beats - e.g.
(crotchet rest for 1) The(2) Water (3 = 2 quavers) is (4) Wide (1234 1) I can (2 = 2 quavers) not (3) swim (4) o’er (1234 1) and (2) neith (3) er (4) have (1234 1) I-i (2 quavers) wings(3) to (4) fly (1234 1), etc

The Water Is Wide, X:2

My first venture into ABC, so please bear with me if it’s wrong! (Used Easy ABC and imported my score in Finale notepad via XML version). Couldn’t change the time sig to 4/4. Chose D as it’s a better key for me to sing it in!

Re: The Water Is Wide

Oops, that X2 is all wrong because of the wrong time sig: can someone please tell me how to delete the whole thing? (or correct it - I scored it in 4/4)

Re: The Water Is Wide

Corrected: sorry for multiple posts!

Re: The Water Is Wide

Trish, put
[M: 4/4] [L:1/4]
as a first line of your abc file.
Hopefully, that should make the score more presentable.
Cheers,
Donald

Re: The Water Is Wide

Trish’s setting is more attractive than mine. I wrote out the tune hastily (in waltz time) rather the worse for wear as Bari, my partner, turned 70 and bottles of red wine were consumed fairly rapidly. I’ve loved this tune since my teens. Will try and post the words in a few days time.

Congrats to Trisha on her first ABC submission.

Re: The Water Is Wide

Thanks Susan, and congrats on Bari’s big birthday. Enjoying all of your posts.

Donald, I did add in the things you said at second attempt, but the guidelines on the site had said to ONLY put the body of the tune and nothing else, which was why my first submission (now edited out) was wrong. Unfortunately could not edit out the rest of my muddled entries!

Watch this space for more, in the hope that I’ve cracked the ABC thingy!

Re: The Water Is Wide

Well it reverted to 3/4 overnight: just restored it to 4/4 and hope it stays this time!

Re: The Water Is Wide

How come it’s SO BIG? Oh, it’s not any more… Conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory…

Re: The Water Is Wide

The joys and oddities of traditional music. We can ignore the muddles and then play a tune in a way that gives us pleasure……….. I like the way time sigs can be altered for a well-known tune like O Waly Waly. I never tried listening to MIDI with X:1, too enslaved to music on the stave.

Re: The Water Is Wide

I had it back as I wanted it a few hours ago, and now it has changed again! Thoroughly confused and downhearted. Think Nigel’s right about the conspiracy!

Re: The Water Is Wide

Nigel is normally right.

Re: The Water Is Wide

Here is one version of the song:-

The water is wide, I cannot get o’er
And neither have I wings to fly
Oh give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I

A ship there is and she sails the sea
She’s loaded deep as deep can be
But not so deep as the love I’m in
I know not if I sink or swim

I leaned my back up against an oak
Thinking it was a trusty tree
But first it bent and then it broke
And so did my false love to me

I reached my finger into some soft bush
Thinking the fairest flower to find
I pricked my finger to the bone
And left the fairest flower behind

Oh love is handsome and love is kind
And love’s a jewel when it is new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like morning dew

The Water Is Wide, X:3

This is how I’ve heard the tune sung to the song "The Water is Wide" by the likes of the late Judy Dinning.
I’ve smoothed out some of the syncopated phrasing.

Re: The Water Is Wide

The Irish think it Irish, the English are sure it’s English, Scots covet it. Answer : it must be very old.

Re: The Water Is Wide

Had a look on Youtube and it seems that just about everyone in the world has recorded it! But for me, Judy Dinning’s version was one of the best, and almost her signature song. Very much missed from the folk world.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abaDCei_q2s

Re: The Water Is Wide

Not available on You-Tube, but I have an album of Mary Humphreys and Anahata, with the melodeon in the background, with this song as "Waly, Waly." Very sad, but beautiful.

Re: The Water Is Wide

And the one I mention is English.

Re: The Water Is Wide

Clannad make a good job of this song. Enya’s singing is lovely - this before she went into elvish mode (not my cup of tea).

Re: The Water Is Wide

Are you sure about that, Susan? I can find no reference to a recording of this song by Clannad, especially during the short period in which Enya was a member of the band.

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Re: The Water Is Wide

Susan is silly twit Gonzo. The song I really meant was "Down by the Salley Gardens" which Enya sings v well. "The water is wide" is a song for a woman unhappy in love and The Water is Wide is from the point of view of the man. Both lovely but I think the Irish one better. *April my month*.