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Here's one for all the love-sick teenagers.  I wanted to write something that sounded like a traditional folk song (probably originally accompanied by fiddle or guitar or some such), that was then adopted by the classical music people and rearranged for amateur singing in the parlor with piano.  There are lots of nice folk tunes that are standards of recital repertoire now that started out as back porch or pub music.  I spent a lot of time trying to decide how florid my imaginary later day arranger got with their piano arrangement, and ended up keeping it pretty simple for accessible parlor playing back in the days before radios.  (:  How did I do with my way-back machine?  Happy Valentine's Day, a little late!

(You'll need to open up the pdf to see the words, or you can watch the youtube below, with the score scrolling by.)

 

 

Edited by pateceramics
Added youtube with score scrolling by.
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It sounds authentic and the simplicity works fine. I never get tired of love songs and this is a good one. It always seems especially intimate when a young girl's heart is given voice in a song. The innocence is captured in the chaste encounters.

Here are a few suggestions you may have already considered. Bar 7 loses some motion and I feel like it should have a chord or passing tone on the 3rd beat, or a rest. see pic.

You have a nice thing going with the "never spoke a word" but chose not to rhyme it, which is puzzling. However, I can't see a way of rhyming it though without changing the whole darn thing.  You've got there and hair. Heard and word is a possibility, which would be great, but then you'd lose there and hair.

 

Oak Tree.jpg

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I like it. Overall, the simplicity really suits the tune.

I agree with @Ken320 about the whole notes in the accompaniment. There's something a little too bare about them. If they were rolled, I think it would make the "hang time" effect work better.

You might also consider changing the rhythm in m. 15 so that "love" is an eighth note and "you" is a quarter. When I sing it, that change gives the comma after "you" more room to breathe before "and heard your reply".

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Thanks, Ken!  I've always liked those songs where a line is repeated, but means something different in each verse.  Think of Gillian Welch's song where the refrain is "We can't have all the things that please us, no matter how we try..."  For the first few verses you think this is a solid expression of salt of the earth, farmerly self-dependence and an ability to do without fancy things in life.  It's only on the last verse that you realize that one of the things the farmer is stoically accepting that he can't have, is children who live to grow up.  

Or "Over Yondro," where the first verse you think, "aw... she misses him."  And by the second verse where she's going to go build a cabin and be a hermit, you think, "oh...  I think maybe he's gone because he's not bothering to come back, not because he can't come back..."

So in this case the repeated "we never spoke a word," is:

Verse one:  we saw each other and knew we were interested without discussing it.  Our eyes did the talking.  "We never spoke a word."

Verse two:  we said "I love you," without, ehem, verbally saying the words.  What is this dude doing in her kitchen very early in the morning, hmmm...? Peach eating, that's not metaphorical at all...  Oh, he came home with her yesterday, and hasn't left yet.  Gotcha.  But they are totally in love, without even having to say it, because, who goes home with someone unless they are totally in love?  "We never spoke a word."

Verse three:  "Hey, it's my true love!"  I'm waving...  Does he not see me?  Oh.  He's ignoring me.  You bugger, you're sitting down by the tree trying to pick someone else up aren't you?  Fine.  We both know what's going on here, so I won't stop and argue about it.  I'll keep my dignity and keep on walking.  "We never spoke a word."  

Given the tendency of teenagers to decide they are in love with people they have never actually talked to, I thought it was funny.  

The whole notes at bar 7, etc. were intended to imitate that moment when you're simultaneously awkward and ecstatic, when the floor drops out from under you and you don't quite know what to do with your hands.  I wanted a tender little moment when the singer is all lonely and unsupported and the audience starts pulling for them, silly though they may be.  Depending on how the accompanist pedals there, you may end up with a rest at the end of the measure.  (:  

 

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45 minutes ago, Adrian Quince said:

I like it. Overall, the simplicity really suits the tune.

I agree with @Ken320 about the whole notes in the accompaniment. There's something a little too bare about them. If they were rolled, I think it would make the "hang time" effect work better.

You might also consider changing the rhythm in m. 15 so that "love" is an eighth note and "you" is a quarter. When I sing it, that change gives the comma after "you" more room to breathe before "and heard your reply".

 

Thanks, Adrian.  Hmm... a roll might be a good idea...  I think I like measure 15 the way it stands.  There's no particular reason you need to breathe there rather than somewhere else, since the whole thing is a run-on sentence, and it puts the emphasis more on the word "love."  I said, "I love you," and heard your reply.  Instead of I said, "I love you," and heard your reply.  We say, "but I love you," when there is some question of who we love, which in this case there isn't.  

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You know, I actually thought about that, but the text really seems to lend itself to a single speaker.  It always feels a little awkward when a big chorus with 50 people sings a love song to one person.  It kind of works if you have soloists, but for something like this, where it's mainly chord, chord, chord it feels strange.  Homophony plus love song feels like you're getting into a sister wives situation.  :D

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