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The Banks of the Roses

Traditional Irish

Arranged by Ollie Lambert

6-parts - SSATBB


This melody dates from the end of the 18th century. It tells the story of a woman meeting Johnny “on the banks of the roses”, bidding he never leave her despite her father's objection to the relationship. In Ireland and England, this is a love song in which the wayward hero produces a symbolic fiddle to serenade his girl. By contrast, the Scottish version ends with Johnny murdering his sweetheart and leaving her body amongst the roses.

The Banks of the Roses

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