“I Live Not Where I Love”


The girl laments that "I live not where I love." In flowery phrases she describes her fidelity. She hopes that she and her lover may be reunited/never part.


On the basis of the ornate lines in the text ("All the world should be one religion, All living things should cease to die, If ever I prove false to my jewel Or any way my love deny"), it would seem likely that this piece began life as an art song. How far it made it into the traditional repertoire remains to be determined.

The most likely antecedent appears to be Martin Parker's 1740 piece, "A Paire of Turtle Doves." Whether this song is directly derived from Parker's piece, or has simply exchanged some lines, is hard to tell. - RBW


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(39), "I Live Not Where I Love" ("Come all you maids that live at a distance"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 11(1638), "I Live Not Where I Love"


  1. Chappell/Wooldridge I, p. 200, "I Live Not Where I Love" (1 fragment of text; the text and tune listed are not this piece)
  2. cf. BBI, ZN1787, "Must the absence of my mistresse"; ZN3048, "You loyal Lovers that are distant"
  4. Roud #593
  5. BI, ChWI200


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Harding 11(39))
Keywords: love separation