Peter Bloesch Listen
top arrow

Choral ~ General ~ with Keyboard



“She's Like the Swallow”

(An arrangement of the folk song from Newfoundland)



SOUND CLIP   /   YOUTUBE VIDEO   /   SCORE SAMPLE

SCORING:  SATB (some divisi), with an optional soprano solo, acc. by piano

DURATION:  ca. 3:00   —   DIFFICULTY:  2/5   —   PAGES IN PDF SCORE:  12

HOW TO PLACE AN ORDER   —   PDF:  $45 (for all the copies you need)



This is a strikingly beautiful folk melody from Newfoundland.

The text itself is somewhat cryptic, and there seem to be multiple interpretations of the storyline, so I'll leave a detailed interpretation up to you. However, it's safe to say that the text is broadly dealing with unrequited love and its devastating effects.

The gorgeous tune and the wistful story inspired me to create an arrangement that emphasizes the epic feelings of the main character — sadness, loneliness, and perhaps even despair. The final chord (in the piano part) is neither major nor minor, denying us a clear sense of “how the story ends.”

While quite easy to perform, this would be a very effective and moving piece to include in your choral programming.

She's Like the Swallow

Folk song from Newfoundland

Complete text:

She’s like the swallow that flies so high,
She’s like the river that never runs dry,
She’s like the sunshine on the lee shore,
She loves her love, but she’ll love no more.

’Twas down in the meadow this fair maid did go,
A-picking the beautiful primrose.
The more she picked and the more she pulled,
Until she gathered her apron full.

She climbed on yonder hill above,
To give a rose unto her love.
She gave him one, she gave him three,
She gave her heart for company.

And as they sat on yonder hill,
His heart grew hard, so harder still.
He has two hearts instead of one.
She says, “Young man, what have you done?”

She took her roses and made a bed,
A stony pillow beneath her head.
She lay her down, no more did say,
Just let her roses fade away.

She’s like the swallow that flies so high,
She’s like the river that never runs dry,
She’s like the sunshine on the lee shore,
She loves her love, but she’ll love no more.