I Saw Three Ships

arr. John Riggio

With an infectious Celtic groove that's sure to make you tap your toes, this arrangement of "I Saw Three Ships" is a great tune to add to your holiday repertoire. Instrumentation on the CD includes penny whistle, fiddle, bodhran, and other drums to add to the Celtic vibe. Of course, our stellar rhythm section set the tone for all who followed, and they did a tremendous job.

The song is as you remember it with a few twists. The intro and the modal sections will be new to you, as well as some of the lyrics. Listening to the recording will help singers pick it up quickly though. The lyrics are secular in this rendition, but you could easily substitute sacred lyrics if you like.

Though this is a well-known Christmas song, one of the challenges of singing it, especially at this tempo (172 bpm) is finding room to breathe during the main melody at measure 33. We had our singers stagger their breathing and we recommend the same to you.

Although we have no expertise in Irish dance, we think this song would lend itself well to choreography of that nature. If you should decide to add some, please shoot a video of it and send us a copy. We'd love to see what you've done with our music!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.