Appalachia Music

Red Is The Rose

Red Is The Rose

I have a new favorite song-and I thought I’d share it with you today. Chitter learned the song from “the youtube” as she calls it.

Looking for a new fiddle tune, Chitter stumbled upon Red Is The Rose. After she learned to play the song she stumbled onto another video of it-and discovered the song had lyrics as well.

I tried to discover the history of the song-but it seems fairly complicated-in other words there are varying opinions and none that have the data to back it up. Most do agree it has an Irish or Scottish history. Another song, Loch Lomond, has the same tune so that muddies the water even further.

A thread on Mud Cat Cafe has this to offer about the song:

Subject: 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.

As with many old traditional songs-no one will ever know for sure-but one thing I do know for sure is I could listen to it all the day long and not tire of the loveliness of the tune and the lonesomeness of the words.

Sigh…the song makes me sigh every time I hear it. I hope you enjoyed it too.


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  • Reply
    David Hilton
    February 10, 2017 at 10:05 am

    One of my favorite songs. It references the river Boyne so I assume it’s Irish.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    July 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    that was such a beautiful song.. sung by such gorgeous ladies…
    the song is very haunting and no wonder you sigh.. tipper.. it does that to me also..
    thank you so much for sharing.
    big ladybughugs

  • Reply
    Lonnie Dockery
    July 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Wow! I like that!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2013 at 8:41 am

    BRAVO, girls! Thank you for my morning entertainment. Have a wonderful week!

  • Reply
    June 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Those girls are just awesome with their music Tipper! Hope you’re enjoying your summer. I’m back to my blog again!

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    June 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Lovely song and well done by the young ladies too! It does sound a lot like Loch Lomond; I think there are several Irish/Scottish songs that use that tune.
    My first name is Rose, RB is just my online handle which comes from the nickname Rosebud that I was called by many friends throughout my early life. Then I grew up, into a full blown Rose (and more), and I decided Rosebud sounded younger and smaller, and I shortened it to RB.
    Because my name is Rose, a family name that lasted through 3 or 4 generations (sadly, I am the last), songs about Roses are very special to me, as are the lovely red, pink and cream roses which I have in abundance throughout our front yard.
    Thanks for sharing this with us Tipper.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    June 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Wonderful rendition! Lovely song, it has always been a favorite.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    June 30, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Wonderful job girls! I have heard the title but never the song. I didn’t know it was the same tune as Loch Lommond which is one if my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    June 30, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I am in awe of the talent of your two girls. Thanks for sharing this rendition of this piece of music. I will sleep well tonight just remembering the tune.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    June 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    That was a beautiful song, and the girls did a beautiful job!

  • Reply
    June 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Thankyou Girls,hope its on a CD soon!!God Bless. Jean

  • Reply
    June 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    “Loch Lomond” was taught to us in the third or fourth grade, I can’t remember which, but it was back when music appreciation was part of our education and was presented as a song from a foreign land. I can still remember the words to the first verse. We also learned “Cielito Lindo”, which was Spanish. Never have I heard “The Red Red Rose” before this day, and I am poorer for that; the girls sing it well together.
    Chitter will be playing double-stops before we know it. Is she being taught classical violin or fiddle?

  • Reply
    June 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    You never cease to amaze us with a
    new tune the girls learned from
    Youtube. Great job girls! Love that
    harmony! I play tunes from Youtube
    all the time, but ain’t never heard
    that one before…Ken

  • Reply
    June 30, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Beautiful girls and beautiful old song. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kathleen in PA
    June 30, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I will never of hearing such beautiful voices.

  • Reply
    steve in Tn
    June 30, 2013 at 9:41 am

    very nice.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    June 30, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Loverly! I’ve always loved Loch Lomond but this is the first time I’ve heard the Red Red Rose verses. Makes me Scottish Blood stand at attention. Thanks ladies.

  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    June 30, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Very pretty! Loved the fiddle. That is the type of song that will stick in your mind. Suprised it’s not better known.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 30, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Now that’s the way a fiddle is meant to be played. Chitter is a rose just beginning to blossom. She gonna make a gooden.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    June 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Beautiful song and rendition. Thank you, Chitter and Chatter, for a lovely start to my day.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    June 30, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Beautiful song as well as beautiful girls! Indeed the song seems to have been taken straight out of the Highlands of Scotland – except while listening I heard the word IRISH – so I may be wrong – again!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    June 30, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Enjoyed hearing the girls sing this old song.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    June 30, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Very pretty. 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 30, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Lovely song, and the girls go a fine job. Good going Chitter for finding it on the youtube. I think you can tell it has a Scotch/Irish history just by sound of it.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 30, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Loved “Red Is the Rose” and Chitter and Chatter’s playing and singing! Excellent! The old tunes (and words) do have a way of getting into the crevices of the heart and mind and staying with us on and on once we hear them! Such is “Red Is the Rose.”
    Thanks so much for sharing with us! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    June 30, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Very nice, ladies. Great way to start a Sunday morning.

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