The Unquiet Grave

Parts: SATB

Key: F major (you can lower it to suit your choir as needed)

Time: 4/4

Complexity: simple. Designed to support a choir working on sightsinging

I know this song deep inside because my mother sang it when I was a child. I can't recall ever not knowing it. Like many ballads it has a lot of verses and I've decided not to set them all. A simple song can get tedious for both singers and listeners if it goes on and on eh?
This song is part of my collection of choral repertoire written for choirs learning to sightread. I've tried to most respectfully reset the words to a new tune to make the song as simple as possible. The tune (which everyone sings in verse 1) is do, re and mi, with no dotted notes and no fast rhythm patterns. When I hum it, I would take liberties with the timing on the notes for "love" "rain" "love". You'll feel it. I didn't want to write it in, because it would mess with the simplicity of the sheet music, but if you want to add pauses, I'm all for it.

In these turbulent times, we must all do our part to uphold democracy eh? My contribution is a democratic delegation of the tune. Each part has a turn at the tune. as well as a harmony line to learn.  You'll also notice I've got some folk style appoggiaturas written in, in some parts. I imagine this could be a challenge for the singers who don't have them. If your singers start appoggiaturing in ways other than what's written, I'm all for you deciding if it's a sign of good musical instincts and best left "uncorrected" or if you want them to follow the little black dots to the letter. As you wish!

The three songs I've written as beginner choral sightreading songs are all sombre textual material. I did that on purpose - I feel like these simple, undotted tunes have a dignity and a sadness to them. (Imagine a bagpipe player at a funeral in the misty highlands at dawn).  So to me they need dignified, sad text. But I will find cheerier text as the elements I include in the sightreading songs become more sophisticated.