From this page you may download a selection of songs as sheet music and play midi files to hear what they sound like

Download sheet music for a selection of the songs from the Baring-Gould collection and to play the tunes as simple midi files. Midis are fine to give you an idea of how the notes work but they are very mechanical – demonstrating how much singers actually bend the rules of music when they perform a song. The rules for this selection are a bit vague – they include some of our favourites, some songs that people have asked us for as well as a few that make it just because they are interesting. We plan to add songs to this page as time and energy allows and will do so by adding to the bottom of the list and dating groups of new entries


The Death of Queen Jane - Ref. PC 3.7 (395)

Collected by Baring-Gould from Sam Fone of Mary Tavy, 28 March 1893, this is a lovely version of the well-known ballad about the birth of King Edward VI. This ballad was included by Professor Child in his collection, ‘The English and Scottish Popular Ballads as No 170 and this version appears as one of the additions in Volume 5. Child’s note says ‘Communicated by Rev. S. Baring-Gould, as recited by Samuel Force’. Baring-Gould sent this to Child with a letter dated 15 June 1893. The mistaken spelling is understandable given Baring-Gould’s handwriting. The assumption that it was recited was Child’s. Baring-Gould corrected the omission by supplying the tune for an article in the Journal of the Folk Song Society written by Ann Gilchrist (JFSS II, No 9 (1906) p222.

Download pdf of the sheet music here

Download a midi file of the tune here   

In the Winter of Life
– Ref. PC 3.137 (475)

This song was collected by Baring-Gould from Charles Arscott of Ramsley, South Zeal on 9 Aug 1894. Arscott would not allow Baring-Gould to note down the words at that time but Baring-Gould pencilled the song into his manuscript from memory. On 20 Mar 1896 he visited South Zeal again and the old man relented and allowed him to note the words, which he then copied over his pencilled version in triumphant black ink.

Download pdf of the sheet music    here    

Download a midi file of the tune here 

Cold and Haily NightPC 3.117 (462)

This song was collected from John Woodridge of Thrushelton. Woodridge had travelled around England and, during those travels, added to a large repertoire that he had already learned from his father and from his grandmother. The tune of this song is intriguing, with gypsy or Balkan influences.

Download pdf of the sheet music  here

Download a midi file of the tune here 


Harmless Molly – PC 2.391 (337)

Another song from Sam Fone, collected in December 1892. Fone said that he learnt this from his mother who sang it while she was doing the washing.

Download pdf of the sheet music here 

Download a midi file of the tune here


Benjamin Bowlabags – PC 3.247 (542)

This song was sent to Baring-Gould in 1896 by Rev. J. Hale Parlby who lived near Plymouth. ‘Benjamin Bowmaneer’ was published in the Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 1933 (JEFDSS, Vol. I, p. 97) after being given to Anne Gilchrist by Mary Spence of Patterdale who leaned it from her great-aunt, Sarah Foster, who came from Sedburgh and who said that she had learned it from a travelling tailor between 1804 – 07. Before the discovery of this version in Baring-Gould’s manuscript this had been the only known instance of this song.

Download pdf of the sheet music here

Download a midi file of the tune here


Updated 14 Nov 2012