Appalachia Music

Love from The Pressley Girls


The Pressley Girls

The girls learned the song “Red is the Rose” five years ago and they’ve been singing it ever since. I wrote about the song back when they first learned it. As usual, I tried to see if I could find the origins of the song. I never did find out who wrote it, and I’m not sure anyone knows. Another song, “Loch Lomond” has the same tune, so that makes the task even more difficult.

This is what I found on the online music forum Mud Cat Cafe:

RE: Red Is The Rose
From: GUEST, Seamus Kennedy
Date: 17 Feb 00 – 01:32 AM

I recorded Red Is The Rose a few years ago, and I’d heard that Tommy Makem had written it. So I called him to get the facts for attribution, royalties, etc., and he told me that he did not write it, but that he had learned it from his mother Sarah, who had been singing it for many, many years. He didn’t know whether Red is the Rose or Loch Lomond came first. Tommy and Liam Clancy did a beautiful version of it. All the best.

Its funny when the girls first started singing the song, Chitter loved it because of the fiddle playing. Somewhere along the way she decided she hated playing it and Chatter decided she loved singing it because the words were so pretty. Eventually they both decided the song was a pretty good one and they put it on their cd “When it Ends in a Walk.”

Give it a listen and see what you think.

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week the girls thought they’d spread some love by giving away one of their cds. For a chance to win one of The Pressley Girls’ cds leave a comment on this post. Giveaway ends Thursday February 14.


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  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    April 2, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks to Chitter and Chatter for that beautiful, pure and simple rendition of “Red is the Rose.”

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    February 13, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    You must be really proud of your girls. My granddaughter, Sara, plays the saxophone and is good enough to play at University of Kentucky while she is still a senior in high school. Of course we are proud of her. You posted a picture of her several years admiring a fish that her cousin had caught.

  • Reply
    Yecedrah Higman
    February 11, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    They make my heart sing when I hear those two sweet girls!! I usually cry a little too!!

  • Reply
    carol roy
    February 11, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Hi….this was a real treat to listen to the beautiful voices of the Pressley Girls I loved ….no doubt my Irish roots make me enjoy it so much. A fine job girls….all the best to you both in your career! Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    I think they did a fine job of that song, love the fiddle,,,,, knew what the tune was going to be as we learned ”Lock Lomond” in grade school, though I’ve never heard ”Red Is The Rose” rendition of the tune. We had a wonderful music teacher, Mrs.” Stackhouse” She had a way with the students that lasted all the way to their senior year and beyond for many ….she played an auto harp when she would teach songs to learn…. the first time I ever saw the movie ”The Sound Of Music” was when she showed it at school. I was astounded at the music and was trying furiously to write down the words to each as I was watching, so badly did I want to get home to sing some of them… She noticed me writing when I was supposed to be watching and got up walking toward me to see what in the world I was doing…boy I thought I was gonna be in big trouble (she was strict too)..but when she saw what I was doing ,she just patted me on the head and and walked on…and I had a wealth of scribbled songs to sing to my hearts content..

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    February 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Tipper, The girls do a beautiful job on that song. I’ve heard Loch Lomond but I never have heard Red is the Rose before. Their harmony is wonderful.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    First time i ever heard the song but it seems like I know the tune. Might be the Irish in me:) The girls did a beautiful job and I enjoyed their singing!!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Sweet Song. Sweet Rendition.

  • Reply
    Becky Hale
    February 10, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    i remember my granny singing this when i was small..good job girls

  • Reply
    Richard Shepherd
    February 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Chitter and Chatter did a fine job with this one in every aspect!…..It was a joy to listen to them!…..Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Kevin, Cheryl, & Zachary
    February 10, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    We would love to win one of their CDs! Thank you and them for the chance to win and sending much love to all three of you!

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    February 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    a great version thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I recognized the tune right away. Such angelic voices, such a pretty song for Valentine’s Day. I thought I was in Ireland.

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    February 10, 2019 at 11:31 am

    I love the girl’s rendition of this song. They did a fantastic job. Who is playing bass?

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Sounds Irish and its beautiful. Enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Good choice to put put on cd. I like their rendition a lot, very pretty melancholy sound.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 9:02 am

    What a talented family you have, Tipper!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Just beautiful. The girls are so talented. Great Valentine’s song. God Bless them.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 10, 2019 at 8:17 am

    That js the first time I heard this song. So pretty and appropriate for Valentines Day. Love to all the gang.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 10, 2019 at 8:08 am

    It is a lovely song and the girls do a very nice job on it!

  • Reply
    Kathy Cheek
    February 10, 2019 at 7:42 am

    So pretty! You girls have beautiful voices! I felt like I was back in Ireland listening to my family sing. Good harmony. How appropriate to sing “my love is fairer than any” for February and Valentine’s Day.

  • Reply
    william kissel
    February 10, 2019 at 7:06 am

    they did a beautiful job on red is the rose i had never heard of the song i love your posts although i dont get a chanch to read them all keep up the great work

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Beautiful. The only that could make it better would be to watch them singing in person.

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