Sheet Music: The Last Rose of Summer

TitleThe Last Rose of Summer
Alternate titlesLetzte Rose
ComposerJohn Stevenson (1761–1833)
Also attributed toFriedrich von Flotow (1818–1883)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyD major
Time signature3/4
Tempo60 BPM
Performance time2:00
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (92 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.7 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.7 MB)
Date added2009-09-11
Last updated2009-09-11
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.7 (above average)
Opera excerpts, Traditional/Folk


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Friday 11 September 2009

Tune of the Day: The Last Rose of Summer

Traditional Irish poem
'Tis the last rose of summer

This song originates from a poem written in 1805 by Irish poet Thomas Moore (nothing to do with the better-known English scholar, whose name by the way was More, with just one “o”). Sir John Stevenson set the poem to its widely-known melody, and this was published in a collection of Moore's work called Irish Melodies.

German composer Friedrich von Flotow uses the song in his opera Martha, premiered in 1847 in Vienna. It is a favorite air (Letzte Rose) of the character Lady Harriet. The interpolation works, and indeed the song helped popularize the opera.

The song is mentioned by James Joyce in Ulysses. It is also featured in many films, like Here Comes Mr. Jordan and An Awfully Big Adventure, and in Rick Burns' documentary series New York.