Come Live with Me and Be My Love
COME LIVE WITH ME, AND BE MY LOVE. English, Air (3/4 time). B Flat Major (Chappell): A Minor (Kines). Standard tuning. One part (Kines): ABB (Chappell). The air appears in W. Corkine's The Second Book of Ayres (1612), and also in Steevens' Shakespeare, from a MS. which once belonged to Sir John Hawkins. The ballad is from the sixteenth century, according to Chappell (1859) who finds several references to it in literature. The first verse goes:
Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the treasures prove.
That hills and valleys, dale and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
Marlow's tragedy The Jew of Malta, c. 1591, contains the first two lines of a song to the air:
Thou, in whose groves, by Dis above,
Shall live with me, and be my love.
Walton's Angler (1653) alludes to the song:
It was a handsome milkmaid, that had not attained so much age and wisdom as to load her mind with any fears of many things that will never be, as too many men often do; but she cast away all care, and sung like a nightingale; her voice was good, and the ditty fitted for it" it was that smooth song which was make by Kit Marlow now at least fifty years ago.
It seems spurious to Kines (1964) that Christopher Marlow should have written the song, for the verses appear in a shortened form in Shakespeare's "Sonnet to sundry notes of music" and parts of verses 2 and 3 are quoted in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Act III, Scene 1). For other references see Chappell's notes on the song.
Printed sources: Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Times), vol. 1, 1859; p. 123. Kines (Songs From Shakespeare's Plays and Popular Songs of Shakespeare's Time), 1964; p. 25.
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