In Friends, the male babysitter Sandy is seen playing a song on the flute (1:50).

The same song is played by Sheldon Cooper, also on the flute (58:46).

After some digging, I found the song to be Greensleeves.

This is an english folk song.

What is the relevance of this song to the shows?

Is TBBT referencing Friends, or are both shows referencing this tune? Is this a famous flute song (or often taught for flute learners)?

  • 5
    I feel like Greensleeves is well-enough known that there isn't necessarily any implied connection between TBBT and Friends just because they both used it... IIRC, it also made a brief appearance in Angel FTR.
    – Steve-O
    May 14 '17 at 22:54
  • Where are you from? Maybe it's a culture thing, but here in Portugal none of my friends knew this song
    – BlueMoon93
    May 15 '17 at 8:40
  • 1
    It is a song that is well known in the English speaking world, there will similarly be some Fado music that is very well known in Portugal but unkown to me and other English speakers.
    – Sarriesfan
    May 15 '17 at 18:36
  • It is common domain music, so no fee would need to be paid to use it.
    – NiceOrc
    May 16 '17 at 3:41

Yes, the song is often played by beginning musicians. It is a simple tune both melodically and harmonically. According to the Wikipedia article on Greensleeves, the song has been referenced in other media for literally hundreds of years, including by Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor and more recently in the TV show Lassie.

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