O Waly, Waly

From Wind Repertory Project
Jay Bocook

Jay Bocook

Subtitle: A Rhapsody for Band

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 5:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00; (digital) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.50; (digital) - $7.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Marimba
  • Pulli Stick (or Rutes)
  • Rain Stick
  • Shaker (small)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Temple Blocks (3)
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

O Waly, Waly (loosely translated as "woe is me") is an English folk song that has been sung since the 1600s. It is more commonly known as The Water Is Wide, and has been performed and recorded by many of today's top artists. Its roots are unclear, with some claiming Northern Irish origin, while others point to Scotland or England as its birthplace. The text of the song points to the inherent challenges of love ("Love is handsome, love is kind") during the early stages of a relationship. As time progresses, however, even true love can "fade away like a morning dew."

The piece opens with an alternate tune to the text of O Waly, Waly as a flute solo. The grace notes should be brought out to project more of a Celtic style. A secondary theme appears in D Major soon afterwards, which at first sounds like a repeat of Waly, Waly. It is actually an entirely new tune, Carolina, the state song of South Carolina. Both tunes utilize the same first four notes, (sol, do, re, mi), and it is this four-note segment that binds all elements of the entire work. Near the end of the composition, both Waly, Waly and Carolina are heard simultaneously, and the piece concludes with a powerful coda containing fragments of both songs and powerful harmonies.

For the Columbia (S.C.) Community Concert Band, Bill Ackerman, director, on the occasion of the band's 30th anniversary.

- Program Notes adapted from score


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: IV
  • Ohio: OMEA High School Band A
  • South Carolina: IV
  • Texas: IV. Complete


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