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The Water is Wide for Oboe & Piano

Digital Sheet Music

By Traditional Scottish

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Oboe, Oboe & Piano - Early Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Traditional Scottish. Arranged by James M. Guthrie. Christian, Repertoire, Technique Training, Easter, Lent. Score, Set of Parts. 17 pages. Published by jmsgu3 (S0.304063).

Item Number: S0.304063

The Water Is Wide (O Waly Waly)
Duration: 5:24
Score: 10 pg. 121 ms., MM quarter = 94, final verse MM quarter = 80, common time
Solo part: 3 pg.
Piano part: 4 pg.

A thought-provoking arrangement of a Traditional Scottish Folksong. Probably most widely known as "The Water Is Wide,"
it is also well known by it's more ancient title: "O Waly Waly." The tune is also known as " When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," and "The Gift of Love."
This is an original arrangement from the ground up.

If you are looking for something with new contrapuntal and harmonic adventures for a Lenten prelude or a meditation during Holy Week, this will fit the bill.
It could also work well in a recital setting because it fits well on the instrument, and provides a chance to show off long, sensitive musical phrases.
Some of the figures in the descant verse are a wee-bit more advanced so, this is for intermediate players rather than beginners.

Keep in mind these performance ideas:
1. It's a simple tune that needs to unfold in the due course of time, so don't rush it. A slight ritardando at the end of each verse may help if you want to further delineate the verses.
2. There is a lot of interesting counterpoint here, so be prepared to give-and-take on the dynamics more than what I have indicated.
3. The final verse is much slower and more mysterious, and the dynamics are crucial - the quieter the better. Piano - the last chord: take your time on the roll, make it nice and slow.

Synopsis of the arrangement:
verse 1: Simple quiet duet with the melody in the solo instrument.
verse 2: Melody in the solo instrument accompanied by a 2-part canon in the piano.
verse 3: Melody in the piano in 4-part harmony.
verse 4: 3-part canon on the melody (with a free accompaniment voice).
verse 5: 2-part canon with a free accompaniment in the solo part
verse 6: Melody in octaves with free bass in octaves; descant in the solo part - loudest verse.
verse 7: Very quiet ending verse - Modulates down a fourth, melody in the solo part accompanied by simple quartal/quintal
 piano clusters over bass chords that suggest submerged church bells.

For better insight into the performance of this music: express the emotion indicated by the lyrics:

The Water Is Wide:
The water is wide, I cannot get over
Neither have I wings to fly
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 against an oak
Thinking it was a trusty tree
But first it bent and then it broke
So did my love prove false 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 be handsome and love be kind
Gay as a jewel when first it is new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like the morning dew
Must I go bound while you go free
Must I love a man who doesn't love me
Must I be born with so little art
As to love a man who'll break my heart
When cockle shells turn silver bells
Then will my love come back to me
When roses bloom in winter's gloom
Then will my love return to me

The lyrics for "Waly, Waly, Gin Love Be Bonny" from Ramsay's Tea Table Miscellany (1724).

O Waly, waly (a lament – "woe is me") up the bank,
And waly, waly doun the brae (hill),
And waly, waly, yon burn-side (riverside),
Where I and my love wont to gae.
I lean'd my back into an aik (oak),
I thocht it was a trusty tree;
But first it bow'd, and syne (soon) it brak (broke),
Sae my true love did lightly me.

O waly, waly, but love be bonnie (beautiful),
A little time while it is new,
But when 'tis auld (old), it waxeth cauld (cold),
And fades away like the morning dew.
O wherefore should I busk my heid (adorn my head)?
Or wherefore should I kame (comb) my hair?
For my true love has me forsook,
And says he'll never love me mair (more).

Now Arthur Seat shall be my bed,
The sheets shall ne'er be fyl'd by me,
Saint Anton's well shall be my drink,
Since my true love has forsaken me.
Martinmas wind, when wilt thou blaw (blow),
And shake the green leaves off the tree?
O gentle death, when wilt thou come?
For of my life I am weary.

'Tis not the frost, that freezes fell,
Nor blawing snaws (snow) inclemency,
'Tis not sic cauld (such cold) that makes me cry,
But my love's heart grown cauld to me.
When we cam in by Glasgow town,
We were a comely sight to see;
My love was clad in the black velvet,
And I my sell in cramasie (crimson).

But had I wist (known), before I kiss'd,
That love had been sae ill to win,
I'd lock my heart in a case of gold,
And pin'd it with a silver pin.
Oh, oh! if my young babe were born,
And set upon the nurse's knee,
And I my sell were dead and gane,
For a maid again I'll never be.[4]
(Lyrics courtesy of Wikipedia)

For more information, please feel free to contact me at: jmsgu3 "at"
James M. Guthrie, ASCAP
jmsgu3 publications

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