The water is wide (Traditional)

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  • (Posted 2007-01-28)  CPDL #13505:  Network.png
Editor: Adriano Secco (submitted 2007-01-28).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 60 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arranged by Adriano Secco for SATB.
  • (Posted 2004-09-18)  CPDL #07886:  Network.png
Editor: Eva Toller (submitted 2004-09-18).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 158 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arranged by Eva Toller. Arranged by Eva Toller for SSA a cappella. All files are available on (Midi files available for each part.)

General Information

Title: The water is wide
Composer: Anonymous (Traditional)

Number of voices: 3,4vv   Voicings: SSA or SATB
Genre: SecularFolksong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:
Description: Traditional American folk song

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

The water is wide, I cannot cross o'er
But Neither have I the wings to fly.
Build me a boat, that will carry two,
And both shall row, my love and I.
A ship there is, and she sails the sea,
I know not if I sink or swim.
She's laden deep as deep can be,
But not so deep as the love I'm in.
I leaned my back on a pride young oak,
I thought it was a trusty tree.
But first it bended, and then it broke,
And so my love proved false to me.
O love is fair and love is fine,
Bright as a rose, when first it's new;
But love grows old, and sometimes cold
And fades away like the morning dew.