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Sheet Music: My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

TitleMy Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
Alternate titlesA Red, Red Rose
Oh my Luve's like a red, red rose
Low Down in the Broom
ComposerTraditional Scottish
InstrumentationFlute and Guitar chords
KeyA major
RangeA4–E6
Time signature4/4
Tempo42 BPM
Performance time1:10
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (61 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (2 kB) MP3 (850 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (1 kB) MP3 (901 kB)
Date added2010-02-11
Last updated2010-02-11
CategoriesCeltic Music, Love songs, Traditional/Folk

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Thursday 11 February 2010

Tune of the Day: My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

Valentine's Day is approaching!

The poem “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose” was written in 1794 by the celebrated Scots poet Robert Burns. Burns worked for the final ten years of his life on projects to preserve traditional Scottish songs for the future, the most famous being “Auld Lang Syne”.

Burns oiriginally intended “A Red, Red Rose” to be published as part of Thomson's A Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs for the Voice. However, Thomson and he disagreed on the merits of that type of song, so Burns finally decided to give the song to Scots singer Pietro Urbani, who published it in his Scots Songs to an original tune that he wrote.

The song was later set to the tune of Neil Gow's “Major Graham”, which was the tune that Burns wanted, and to William Marshall's “Wishaw's Favourite”. However, the song only became really popular when Robert Archibald Smith paired it with the tune of “Low Down in the Broom” in 1821. This has become the most popular arrangement.