“Died for Love (I)”


A song of a woman in pain. The woman says that the man loved her when her apron was low, but now it's high. She may wish she were a maid again, recall the alehouse where she drinks, or wish her parents had never met


This piece is almost "The Butcher Boy" [Laws P24] without the suicide. The mention of the apron riding high is a strong indicator; the girl is definitely pregnant and regrets her folly.

For further details on the family, see the notes to "The Butcher Boy." - RBW

Yates, Musical Traditions site _Voice of the People suite_ "Notes - Volume 15" - 13.9.02, cite as a possible source "song 'The Effects of Love - A New Song' which was issued by an anonymous broadside printer in the 18th century." The note quotes the text, which includes the "when my apron it hung low" and "I wish that my dear babe was born" verses. The reference seems to be to "The effects of love. A new song. [London]. [1780?]. 1 sheet; 1/80. British Library 11621.k.4(158). A slip song. "O! Love is hot, and Love is cold,." REFERENCE: ESTCT32452 x." (source: _Eighteenth Century (1701-1790) Cheap Print: A Finding Aid_ produced by Richard C. Simmons, University of Birmingham, Dec 2000, on the University of Birmingham site); this is not at all the Bodleian broadside set "The Effects of Love [by a young lady who drowned herself]" ("Young lovers all I pray draw near").

Also collected and sung by David Hammond, "I Wish I Was a Maid Again" (on David Hammond, "I Am the Wee Falorie Man: Folk Songs of Ireland," Tradition TCD1052 CD (1997) reissue of Tradition LP TLP 1028 (1959)) - BS

Cross references


  • Isla Cameron, "Died For Love" (on Lomax41, LomaxCD1741)
  • Walter Pardon, "I Wish, I Wish" (on Voice15)
  • Pete Seeger, "Tarrytown" (on PeteSeeger46)
  • Pete Seeger & Sonny Terry, "In Tarrytown" (on SeegerTerry)


  1. Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, p. 53, "I Wish, I Wish" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. MacSeegTrav 55, "Died for Love" (2 texts, 2 tunes, the second having a wide variety of imported verses not usually associated with this family)
  3. SharpAp 273, "I wish I was a Child again" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  4. Hammond-Belfast, p. 56, "I Wish I Was a Maid Again" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #495
  6. BI, McST055


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1918 (Cecil Sharp collection)
Found in: Britain(England,Scotland) Ireland