Paper of Pins – Traditional English Children’s Song – Easy Piano or Lead Sheet

Paper of Pins, also known as If You Will Walk With Me or The Keys of Canterbury, is a traditional English folk song known under Roud Folk Song Index #573. It dates to at least 1849. The children’s versions are usually missing a few verses or may use only the first two verses about the titular paper of pins. This sheet music arranged in G major has chords for use as a lead sheet but is also written out for easy piano playing.

The plot of the song is that a maiden is being wooed by a gentleman who seeks her favour with various possible gifts. In the variants, the gentleman offers gifts such as a paper of pins (Think of it as a paper roll of straight pins, or sewing needles but without the holes.), multiple dresses, a coach and horses, puppies, silver spoons, golden balls— and finally succeeds when he declares that he will give her everything he owns! Although the maiden then agrees, the gentleman realizes that this is not true love and rejects her. Christina at PuellaDocta already has a post where she researched the song and its variants and gives some commentary, so I shan’t write too much about the variations.

The way I sing the song is as below. The first version I learned was very stripped down, perhaps to make the song easier for the very young. Anyway, I always thought that gold should follow silver and made up the gold bit a long time ago.

Lyrics

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

I’ll not accept your paper of pins
If that’s the way true love begins,
And I won’t marry you, you, you,
And I won’t marry you.

I’ll give to you a silver spoon
To feed our baby in the afternoon,
If you will marry me, me, me,
If you will marry me.

I’ll not accept your silver spoon
To feed our baby in the afternoon,
And I won’t marry you, you, you,
And I won’t marry you.

I give to you a ring of gold
To wear and show as we grow old,
If you will marry me, me, me,
If you will marry me.

I’ll not accept your ring of gold
To wear and show as we grow old,
And I won’t marry you, you, you,
And I won’t marry you.

I’ll give to you my hand and heart
That we may marry and never part
If you will marry me, me, me,
If you will marry me.

I’ll not accept your hand and heart
That might marry and never part
And I won’t marry you, you, you,
And I won’t marry you.

I’ll give to you the key to my chest
And all the wealth that I possess,
If you will marry me, me, me,
If you will marry me.

Yes, I’ll accept the key to your chest
And all the wealth that you possess,
And I will marry you, you, you,
And I will marry you.

Now I see, oh, now I see:
You love my money but don’t love me,
So I won’t marry you, you, you,
So I won’t marry you.

Music

To download free sheet music for Paper of Pins arranged for easy piano with chords, click here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to Top