My love is newly listed
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MY LOVE IS NEWLY LISTED. AKA - "The snow it melts the soonest." English, Air (4/4 time). England, Northumberland. E Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. The air was employed for different sets of lyrics, and thus is called by different titles.
Bruce & Stoke's note in Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882) reads: "The late Mr. Thomas Doubleday, an enthusiastic and eloquent advocate for the collection of old Northumbrian music, picked this tune up from a street singer, and inserted it in a contribution to Blackwood's Magazine, in 1821. He gave some verses adapted to the melody entitled 'Oh the snaw it melts the soonest,' and describes it as 'An air that has been familiar to me since I was 'penny-can high,' as the saying is' but the merit of which I was never aware of until now. I have forgot what we used to call it, but it now goes by the name of 'My Love is Newly Listed'. It is just one of those ditties which Gay would have put into the Beggar's Opera. Monotonous, yet original--full of mannerism, yet with a vein of unexpected feeling--it embodies, in a faint degree, that mixture of passion which is at the top of what you call 'musical expression." (Bruce & Stokoe).
The verses referred to in the passage above, from Blackwoods Magazine (1821, vol. 10, p. 443) begin:
O, the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing;
And the corn in ripens fastest when the frosts are setting in;
And when a woman tells me that my face she'll soon forget,
Before we part, I wad a crown, she's fain to follow yet.
The snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing;
And the swallow skims without a thought as long as it is spring;
But when spring goes, and winter blows, iny lass, an ye'll be fain,
For all your pride, to follow me, were 't cross the stormy main.
"My love is newly 'listed" or "The White Cockade" [Roud 191; Ballad Index StoR068] (as it is called in southern England) is a song that is most often heard nowadays to a different tune than the one printed in Northumbrian Minstrelsy. It tells of the fortunes of a girl whose beau has joined the army. Frank Kidson noted a version from the singing of his mother, who had heard it in Leeds, Yorkshire, about 1820. A.A. Lloyd commented that the song was "a favourite with the peasantry in every part of England but more particularly in the mining districts of the North."
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; p. 97.
See also listing at:
See commentary on the song at Mainly Norfolk site