> The Young Tradition > Songs > The Loyal Lover

The Loyal Lover

[ Roud 578 ; Ballad Index dlMC389A ; trad.]

The Loyal Lover is a song from Lucy Broadwood's English County Songs (1893) and from Sabine Baring-Gould's collection of folk songs of Devon and Cornwall, Songs of the West (1913).

Inglis Gundry also included I Love My Love in his book of songs and dances from Cornwall, Canow Kernow (1966) with a “tune noted by E. Quintrell from J. Boaden (who learnt it from Mr Curry of Helston) at Cury Cross Lanes, May 1905 (J.F.S.S. No. 7, p. 93). Words forgotten, but believed by Miss L.E. Broadwood to have been those given here, which come from an old garland in the British Museum.”

Heather Wood sang The Loyal Lover in 1968 on The Young Tradition's last LP, Galleries.

John Goodluck sang The Loyal Lover on his 1974 Traditional Sound album The Suffolk Miracle. The album's liner notes commented:

John sings the man's lib version of this traditional song. It came out rather like a guitar instrumental—with vocal accompaniment.

Marsden Blant & Squire sang The Loyal Lover in 2003 on their CD Trio.

Hannah Sanders sang I'll Weave My Love a Garland on her 2014 EP Fate and 2015 CD Charms Against Sorrow.

The Unthanks sang Mount the Air as the title track of their 2015 album Mount the Air.

Kate Fletcher sang Swallow's Wings on her and Corwen Broch's 2017 CD Fishe or Fowle. They commented in their liner notes:

One of many treasures from A Dorset Book of Folk Songs collected in Dorset between 1905-1908 by H.D.E. Hammond and his brother who toured the country by bicycle and collected over 600 songs. The melody and the first verse are the legacy of Mrs Crawford of New Milton. Verse two comes from a related song called The Loyal Lover which was sung by Anne Roberts of Scobbetor in 1890. Verse three is from The Merry King sung by Mrs Alfred Hunt of Wimbledon, 1905. The wheezing and clunking is the sound of our most ancient pedal harmonium.

Burd Ellen sang Because My Love Loves Me on their 2019 CD Silver Came. Debbie Armour noted:

Originally composed fur Muldoon's Picnic by Katy Lavinia Cooper. I've wanted to sing this for a long time, and it sits as a companion to Sweet Lemany in this collection.

See also A Maid in Bedlam which has the same “I love my love” phrase.

Lyrics

Heather Wood sings The Loyal Lover

I'll weave my love a garland, it shall be dress'd so fine
I'll set it round with roses, with lilies, pinks and thyme
And I'll present it to my love when he comes home from sea.
For I love my love, and I love my love, because my love loves me.

I wish I were an arrow that sped into the air
To seek him as a sparrow, and if he were not there
How quickly I'd become a fish to search the raging sea.
For I love my love, and I love my love, because my love loves me.

I would I were a reaper, I'd seek him in the corn,
I would I were a keeper, I'd hunt him with my horn.
I'd blow a blast when found at last beneath the greenwood tree
For I love my love, and I love my love, because my love loves me.

Kate Fletcher sings Swallow's Wings

I'll mount the air on swallow's wings to find my dearest dear,
And if I lose my labour and cannot find him there
I quickly will become a fish to search the roaring seas.
I love my love because i know my lover he loves me.

I would I were a reaper, I'd seek him in the corn,
I would I were a keeper, I'd hunt him with my horn.
I'd blow a blast when found at last beneath the greenwood tree,
I love my love because i know my lover he loves me.

In the middle of the ocean shall grow a myrtle tree.
Its green leaves shall wither, its branches shall die,
Its green leaves shall wither and sink into the sea
If ever I prove false to the lover who loves me.

(repeat first verse)