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Down by the Salley Gardens (flex)

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Michael Sweeney

Folk song arranged by Michael Sweeney

General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 3:05
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Folk song
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $55.00; (digital) - $55.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Violin

Part 2

  • B-flat Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • Violin

Part 3

  • B-flat Clarinet
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • E-flat Alto Clarinet
  • F Horn
  • Violin
  • Viola

Part 4

  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Euphonium T.C
  • F Horn
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium B.C.
  • Bassoon
  • Cello

Part 5

  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium B.C.
  • Bassoon
  • Euphonium T.C.
  • Cello
  • B-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Tuba
  • String/Electric Bass

Percussion I

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum

Percussion II

  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Triangle

Mallet Percussion

  • Bells
  • Chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Down by the Salley Gardens is an Irish folk poem by William Butler Yeats, which was published in Crossways in 1889. Herbert Hughes set the words to music.

A "salley," or willow tree, was once common in gardens because people used the willow rods for basket making and for constructing thatch roofing of cottages. The Gaelic for "willow" is saileach, and the English usage of salley for willow tree may come from the Gaelic.

Down by the Salley Gardens

Down by the salley gardens, my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leave grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.

In a field down by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.

- William Butler Yeats

- Program Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band

This careful adaptation of the traditional Irish folk song and its heartfelt melody uses lush harmonies, varieties in texture, and carefully paced emotional peaks to create a marvelous setting for young players. This version also has been creatively scored for flexible instrumentation so small bands or bands with incomplete or nontraditional instrumentation can perform it with great success.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Belongia, Daniel A. "Down by the Salley Gardens." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 190-194. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
  • Perusal score
  • Sweeney, M. (2005). Down by the Salley Gardens [score]. Hal Leonard: Milwaukee, Wisc.