Three Bitter-sweet Love Ballads

Instrumentation: SATB
Playing time:
Copyright 2016
Three Bitter-sweet Love Ballads (Opens in a new tab)

In the genre of “sea shanties,” the songs that beg a woman as the singer are most often “bitter-sweet” in character; there is no rocking joviality for those left in the seaports.  The subject is inevitably about a loved one who has gone away and leaves both sweet and bitter memories at the home front.


These three songs, “Love is Pleasin’,” “Mary Ann,” and “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair,”  were composed for the singers of Rockport High School in Rockport, Mass., and their director Patti Pike.  “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” is also set for chorus and string orchestra; it can be found in a separate file.