These Are Public Domain

Songs do not enter the public domain until decades after the date of the author’s death – not the date they were written.  For more copyright information, see www.copyright.gov/help/faq/.

NOTE:  The songs listed in this section are only those songs NOT currently available for download.  Songs that ARE available for download will be found in the various sections.  Be sure you use the search option.
If you did not find the song you were looking for using the search option, check the list below. 

Even though the songs listed in this section are not currently available here for download, they are in the public domain and may be shared.  They will be added to the appropriate sections over time.  In addition, all the songs collected by Robert Burns and those written by Stephen Foster are in the public domain. 

Song List – Public Domain Works

A Lusty Young Smith – traditional English
Abba-Dabba Honeymoon
Ah, How the Moon is Shining – Polish
All the Pretty Little Horses – U.S. version of Elizabethan Lullaby
Alleluia – Mozart
America (God Save the Queen) – S.F. Smith, Henry Carey
Arky’s Toast – traditional
As I Roll My Rolling Ball – French-Canadian
At Summer Morn – round
Au Claire de la Lune (Claire de Lune) – French
Auld Lang Syne – collected by Robert Burns

Barnyard Song – Kentucky folk version of I Went to Market
Battle Hymn of the Republic – Julia Ward Howe
Begone, Dull Care – English 17th Century
Bird Song, The – U.S. Appalachian
Bird in a Gilded Cage, A – Harry Von Tilzer 1900
Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair – 19 C (lyrics only),  tune rewritten 1941
Blow Ye Winds – Foc’sle Song from New Bedford
Bohemian Carol – Bohemian
Brahms Lullaby (Cradle Song) – J. Brahms
Broken Troth, The – Czech
Brooklet, The – Russian

Campfire’s Burning aka Fire’s Burning (London’s Burning) – round
Canticle – Russian
Castle of Dromore – Irish traditional
Cherries Are Ripe – United States
Christmas is Coming – traditional English
Christmas Polka – Swedish
Clocks, The – Danish round
Cockles and Mussels aka Molly Malone – Irish
Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star – John Stromberg 1902
Cossack’s Lullaby – Backmetieff
Country Clodhoppers – round
Country Gardens – English Folk Song
Cradle Song (Lullaby, and Goodnight) – J. Brahms
Crow-Fish Man, The – Oxford University Press, Kentucky version of Craw-Dad Song

Dabblin’ in the Dew – traditional English
Daddy Bought Me a Bow-Wow, But It Died – Eng Music Hall
Daddy Wouldn’t Buy Me a Bow-Wow – English Music Hall
De Bezem (The Broom) – Holland round
Doktor Eisenbart – Netherlands Folk Song
Donkeys and Carrots – Belgian Round
Don’t Swat Your Mother English Music Hall
Don’t Want to Go Home – Czech
Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes – Ben Johnson

Early One Morning – traditional English
Easter Alleluya – traditional
Erie Canal – U.S. work song
Eternal Father (Navy Hymn) – William Whiting, John B. Dykes
Evening Star, The – Schumann

Famous Flower of Servingmen – traditional
Farmer and the Crow, The – Swedish
Finlandia – Sibelius (music only)
Fire’s Burning aka Campfire’s Burning (London’s Burning)
Fly and the Bumblebee – traditional English
Follow the Van – English
Forge, The – J. Brahms
Four White Horses – singing game
Fox Went Out One Starry Night, A – English
Frére Jacques – French
From Sky Above – German

Garryowen – traditional Irish
Gently, Johnny, My Jigalo – traditional English
God Save the Queen – Henry Carey 1740
Golden Slumbers – English 17C
Good Bye, My Lady Love – Joseph E. Howard 1904
Good Night Canon – Tallis c 1525-1585
Good Night to You All – round
Grandma Grunts – U.S. Southern Appalachian
Great Tom is Cast – traditional English
Green Grow the Rushes-O – traditional
Greensleeves – traditional English
Greeting Song – Caldara canon
Grun, Grun, Grun – German

Happy Birthday –  Patty and Mildred Hill (as of Sept 22, 2015)
Hark! Hark! The Lark – Schubert
Heavens Resound – Bach (not the arrangement)
Here I Sit and Wait for You – Scandinavian Folk Song
Hiney Mah Tov – Israel
Ho! Every Sleeper Waken! – round
Hoida – Finnish Washerwoman’s Dance
Honza, I Love You – Czech
Horns – traditional
Hush-a-ba Birdie – Scottish

I Don’t Want to Play in Your Yard – H. W. Petrie 1894
I Have a Song to Sing, O! – Sullivan
I Know Where I’m Going – Irish (Ulster) song
I Went to Market – English 16C
If You Should Meet an Elephant – public domain
Ira Congo – African Folk Song
I’ve Got Rings on My Fingers – Maurice Scott 1909

Jennie Jenkins – U.S. West Virginia
Jock O’Hazeldean – Scots
Jog On, Jog On – English 

Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier – U.S. version of Shule Aroon popular during Civil War
Johnny, I Hardly Knew You – Irish folk song
Joy in the Gates – 16C round
Jubilate Deo – C. Praetorius 1600
June, Lovely June – canon

Keel Row, The – Scottish
Keeper, The – Old English Folk Song

La Biritullera – Italian
Land of the Silver Birch – Canadian
Let Us Go A-Maying – John Hilton round
Let’s Put the Rooster in the Stew – French round
Lightsome Heart – German round
Little Sweet One – Mexican
London Street Cries – English
Lord Randal – traditional
Love Grows Under the Wide Oak Tree
Love’s Old Sweet Song – James L. Malloy 1884
Lullaby – Zulu
Lullaby, and Goodnight (Cradle Song) – J. Brahms
Lustrukru – Breton   

Magnificat – Hebrew
May Song – German
Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis – Kerry Mills 1904
Mermaid, The
Mi Chacra – Argentinian
Molly Malone aka Cockles and Mussels – Irish 1884 reprint
Morning Song – Mexican
My Gentle Harp – Thomas Moore
My Lord What a Mornin! – U.S. Negro Spiritual
My Mother Was A Lady – English

Navaho Happy Song – U.S. Navaho
Navy Hymn (Eternal Father) – William Whiting, John B. Dykes
Nice Girls Don’t Chase the Boys – French
Nightingale, The – German Minnesinger
Now Comes the Hour – Beethoven round
Now Is the Month of Maying – Thomas Morley
Now Robin, Lend to Me Thy Bow – English

O God, Who Art the Only Light – Bach
O Wert Thou in the Cauld Blast – Mendelssohn
Oak and Ash – England North Country 17C
Oak and Ash and Thorn – traditional English
Oh, No John – English folk song
Oh, Won’t You Sit Down? – U.S. Negro Camp Meeting
Old Folks at Home – Stephen Foster
On His Bronco the Gay Caballero – Mexican
On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away – Paul Dresser 1897
Once to Every Man and Nation – Williams
Out in Our Meadow – Swedish
Owlet, The – Mexican Folk Song
Oyster Fishers’ Song, The – Scottish

Peasant Chorus – Gounod
Pray God Bless – round

Quail, The – Armenian

Railroad Corral, The – U.S. Cowboy
Rally Song – Balkan round
Rattlin’ Bog, The – traditional
Rising of the Moon, The – traditional Irish 19th century
Robin Hood and Little John – English
Robin’s Last Will, The – English
Rolling Home – traditional UK
Ronde de Printemps – French Folk Song

Sacramento – U.S. Shanty
Sailor’s Return, The – French
San Sereni – Puerto Rican
Sandy’s Mill – canon
Santa Lucia – Italian folk song
Santy Anna – U.S. Shanty
Seven Joys that Mary Had – traditional English 
Shamrock and the Heather, The – Irish
Shule Aroon – Jacobite era
Si Si Si – Congolese Soldier’s Song
Sing and Dance – 13th C French
Skye Boat Song – traditional Scots, Harold Boulton
Soft Falls the Dew – Slovak
Soldier, Soldier Will You Marry Me – Anglo-American
Song of the Delhi Tongawallah – Hindustani
Song of the Maremma – Italian
Song of the Open Air, A – Sicilian
Song of the Ship-Builders, The – John Greenleaf Whittier, Gustav Holst canon
Spanish Ladies – English Shanty
Star of the County Down – Cathal McGarvey  1866-1927
Swan Sings, The – round
Sweet Music Enchanting – Mozart

Tallis’ Canon – Thomas Ken, Thomas Tallis
Ten Thousand Men – German
There Was Once a Little Ship – French
Those Wedding Bells Shall Not Ring Out! – Monroe H. Rosenfeld 1896
Three Pirates – English
To Anacreon in Heav’n – traditional English
To Ope Their Trunks – English Round
Turn Again Whittington – round
Turn the Glasses Over – traditional Early American 
Twankydillo – English-Sussex
Two Ducks on a Pond  – round
Two Wings – U.S. Negro Spiritual
Tyrolean Tramping Song – Swiss Folk Song

Under the Bamboo Tree – Bob Cole, J. Rosamond Johnson, James Weldon Johnson 1902

Vesper Hymn – Russian
Volga Boatman, The – Russian Folk Song

Wait ’till the Sun Shines, Nellie – Harry Von Tilzer 1905
Waly, Waly – traditional
Wayfaring Stranger – U.S. Spiritual
We Gather Together – Theodore Baker, Netherlands tune
We’ll All Go Down the Meadow – British
Wearin’ of the Green, The – traditional Irish 19th century
Wee Cooper of Fife – traditional Scots
When Johnny Comes Marching Home – traditional USA
When Your Potato’s Done – U.S. Creole
Where Are You Going To, My Pretty Maid? – English version of Dabblin’ in the Dew
Where Is John? – Friedrich Smetana round
Whip-Poor-Will – round
Whirling Maiden – Czech
Who Can Sail? – Swedish Folk Song
Why Shouldn’t My Goose? – round
Will Ye No’ Come Back Again? – Scottish
Will You Love Me in December As You Do in May? – Ernest R. Ball 1905
Willie, Willie, Will – J. Brahms canon
Windmill, The – round
Wish Song – traditional
Wynken, Blynken & Nod – words Eugene Field music unk 

Yellow Rose of Texas – Civil War USA

Zither and I – Italian 

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Responses

  1. UPDATE

    “Happy Birthday” is now in the public domain. After decades of litigation, MSNBC has reported a judgment in the lawsuit. On Sept 22, 2015 a judge ruled that the tune is in the public domain and the copyright applied only to the piano arrangement.

    The song, originally written as “Good Morning to All”, by the Hill sisters (Patty and Mildred) was copyrighted in the 1930’s. A later derivative work by one of the sisters with the lyrics Happy Birthday was written for use in her classroom, was never copyrighted, and was intended to be used freely by the public.

    The publishing company does not have the right to appeal the decision any further. They may apply to the judge for permission to appeal, but the amount of evidence and the degree of detail make it unlikely the judge will grant permission to appeal his decision.


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