Category Archives: Singing

Idler vocal workshop 24 September 2013 - My Love is like a Red, Red Rose - R Burns, arr, Diana de Cabarrus

This is a well known Burns song, with an interesting background-he apparently noted the lyrics down as he heard them sung by a young girl, rather than composing them himself. Burns was an avid collector of songs as well as writing them.

Here are the individual vocal parts you can refer to. They’re in midi, which isn’t an aurally expressive format, but you will at least get the notes. The full arrangement is at the bottom. It will sound much better sung by humans!

Soprano RRR

Alto RRR

Tenor RRR

Bass RRR

My_Love’s_like_a_Red_Red_Rose (all vocals)


O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!

Everybody can enjoy singing and everyone can improve their voice!

Singing is great fun. There are societies in which the notion that somebody couldn’t sing just wouldn’t make sense-it would be like someone with two well functioning legs saying they couldn’t walk. But in Western culture, a division has sprung up between ‘experts’ – professional musicians/performers etc, and us; and sometimes our right to enjoy making music can be unduly mediated via these experts. We can feel inhibited about making music or singing if something comes out unexpectedly. I think music is a really natural instinct, and it’s really rare for someone to be totally unmusical. If you enjoy music and you love to listen to it, you are already musically inclined, and the rest is just time and technique.

When it comes to singing or playing an instrument, there’s co-ordination involved that is trained by repetition and practice. The way sound is produced when we sing is a result of air travelling up from the diaphragm and being shaped by our vocal cords. So although some aspects of the sound we make are determined by our physiognomy and are fixed (eg-the lowest note you can sound will not change much even if you do voice training as it depends on thickness of vocal cords); there are other parts of sound production that respond really well to development; namely the tone of the sound produced, the resonance, the accuracy of pitching and staying in tune, breath control, and upper range. There are so many reasons to sing-it’s linked to improvement in mood; breathing in sync with other people is a powerful experience; and regular singing is even linked to improved heart health! So if you’ve ever wanted to sing but held back because you didn’t like the sound that came out, or felt embarrassed, stay tuned for vids on developing your voice, and get singing!

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