Greenery
WT2053

Needles and pins

Music: Trad. American arr. Jennifer Bell. Words: Anon.
SSAA, piano
performance time approx 2m 30s
Range S1: d' – g'' / S2: d' – e''♭ / A1: a – c''# / A2: g – b'♭
Price code: C
Complexity: **

See a perusal copy of the music.
Hear a performance
This teasing song of courtship is based mainly on a 19th century American song Paper of Pins. The song was published in 1869, with a tune composed and arranged by E. Mack and words by ‘A Lady’. Mack’s tune was somewhat different from the one that has become associated with the song since then, but had a similar simplicity. In bars 44 – 59, a snippet of a second song (The Thread That Runs So True) also appears; this was a play party song, a kind of clapping song sung in parts of the US where, for much of the 19th century, religious practice forbade dancing or the playing of musical instruments. One source attributes the words of this section (and a very similar tune) to Mrs Allie B Jackson of Versailles, Indiana.

Jennifer Bell's arrangement builds steadily - mirroring the escalating list of things promised to the beloved - and all ends happily, with the acceptance of marriage. The recording is by the Columbus Women's Chorus, Ohio, under Jennifer's direction.

For companion pieces we recommend Spin, spin and Knitting patterns.

Words

I’ll give to you a paper of pins,
And that’s the way our love begins,
If you will marry me, me, me,
If you will marry me.

I won’t accept your paper of pins,
If that’s the way our love begins.
No, I won’t marry you, you, you.
No, I won’t marry you.

I’ll give to you a fine dress of red,
All bound around with golden thread,
If you will marry me, me, me,
If you will marry me.

I won’t accept your fine dress of red,
All bound around with golden thread,
And I won’t marry you, you, you.
No, I won’t marry you.

            Needle’s eye that doth supply the thread that runs so true,
            Many a beau did I let go because I wanted you.

I’ll give to you a pure silver spoon,
I’ll give to you a diamond so bright,
I’ll give to you the key to my chest,
I’ll give to you the key to my heart.

I’ll give to you the key to my heart,
That we might love and never part,
If you will marry me, me, me,
If you will marry me.

Yes, I’ll accept the key to your heart,
That we may love and never part.
And I will marry you, you, you,
And I will marry you.

For paper of pins, paper of pins,
For paper of needles and pins.

19th century American songs, adapted by Jennifer Bell

Purchase – 2053: Needles and pins

Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Name of group
Size of group
The price depends on the number of singers in your group. This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print - for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.

Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.

Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not instantly, because each PDF file is created specially for the purchaser.

Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple credit or debit card if you don’t have a Paypal account. Your Paypal transaction will be in sterling and it will be converted automatically if your credit card draws on a different currency. Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.

If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros, then please e-mail your order to us instead of using the form above.
Canasg Choral Music Publishing
Canasg Music
16 Morningside Park,
Edinburgh EH10 5HB, Scotland
Contact us