What care I for whom she be

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WHAT CARE I FOR WHOM SHE BE? English, Jig and Country Dance (6/8 time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The title of the country dance, "What care I for whom she be?", is also the name of a song printed in Calliope, or the Musical Miscellany (1788, Song 211) and other period songsters and ballad sheets. The words are that of an Elizabethan-era poem by George Wither (1588–1667) sometimes called "The Lover's Resolution," and begin:

'SHALL I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May,
If she think not well of me,
What care I how fair she be?

Samuel, Ann and Peter Thompson published the song on a sheet around 1780, as sung by Mr. Vernon at Vauxhall Gardens. Other versions of the song are set to a different (duple-time) air than the one printed by Skillern.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Skillern (Twenty-Four Country Dances for the Year 1780), 1780; p. 6.

Recorded sources:

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