I'll never love thee more (1)

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I'LL NEVER LOVE THEE MORE [1]. AKA and see "My Dear and Only Love Take Heed," "Never Love Thee More." Irish, Scottish, English; Harp and Song Air (6/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Flood): ABCD (Chappell). Provenance is disputed. The tune is an Irish harp melody adapted to a song that was picked up by some Puritan troops in Ireland, states (the notoriously unreliable) Grattan Flood (1905), who typically claims an Irish provenance for the air. The title is John Gamble's (from a manuscript volume of songs and ballads, with music, dated 1659, in the handwriting of Gamble himself), but Flood believes it was previously adapted to other words by (Scottish) James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, one of Charles I most brilliant strategists in the English Civil War who was executed in 1650. The alternate title "My dar and only love take heed" is the first line of the words given by Gamble. Antiquarian William Chappell (1859), of course, sees the tune as English, and finds the early English references to it in the Pepys Collection and others, leading him to believe that the tune, in its original form, was from the time of James I, in the early 17th century. He notes Graham's version of the lyrics, but, as far as ascribing the tune to him, says: "This is obviously a mistake: we have seen that the ballad was printed in the early years of the (17th) century, and the Marquis of Montrose was not born till 1612." He does concede that Montrose's words made the tune popular in Scotland, but that, strictly speaking, the tune is erroneously contained in collections of Scottish music. John Glen (Early Scottish Melodies, 1900) claims the tune as Scottish, in part (like Flood) on the strength of the undisputed Montrose connection (predating the Gamble manuscripts). He also finds a version in the Blaikie manuscript, a Scottish collection of lyra-viol music dated 1695, under the title "Montrose Lyns."

My dear and only love, I pray
That little World of thee
Be govern'd by no other sway
But purest Monarchie;
For if Confusion have a part,
Which virtuous souls abhore,
I'le call a Synod in my heart,
And never love thee more.

The melody and dance instructions were printed by the Playfords and the Walshes in London--see listing as "Never Love Thee More" for those versions.

Source for notated versions: John Gamble's MS, 1659 [Chappell & Flood].

Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times), vol. 1, 1859; pp. 1909-191. Flood (The Story of the Harp), 1905, p. 95.

Recorded sources:




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