Sheet Music: Aura Lee

TitleAura Lee
Alternate titlesLove Me Tender
ComposerGeorge R. Poulton (1828–1876)
Also attributed toElvis Presley (1935–1977)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyG major
Time signature4/4
Tempo88 BPM
Performance time0:45
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (42 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (366 kB)
Date added2009-09-15
Last updated2009-09-15
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.9 (above average)
American Civil War, Ballads, Love songs, Traditional/Folk


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Tuesday 15 September 2009

Tune of the Day: Love Me Tender

American Civil War song “Aura Lee”, by George R. Poulton

“Love Me Tender”, as sung by Elvis Presley, was adapted from the tune of “Aura Lee” (or “Aura Lea”), a sentimental Civil War ballad with music by George R. Poulton and words by W.W. Fosdick. “Aura Lee” was published in 1861, and later became popular with college glee clubs and barbershop quartets. It was also sung at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

It is said that during the Civil War this song was popular with both Union and Confederate soldiers. It is also said that often during the night, when both armies were camped within earshot of each other and “Aura Lee” was struck up by one side, the other side would join in. Such moments of camaraderie would have them harmonizing together, with thoughts of home and loved ones. However, such musical interludes were all too brief, for all too soon the horrors of war would return to divide them.

In 1956 the song would change its name to “Love Me Tender”, and would be credited to Elvis Presley and Vera Matson. The new lyrics, however, were written by Ken Darby, the American Academy Award and Grammy Award winning composer and conductor. Curiously, when Ken Darby was asked why he credited his wife, Vera Matson, as co-songwriter along with Elvis Presley, he responded, “Because she didn't write it either.”