“If Ever I Cease to Love”


Singer's true love is perfect: "a modern Taglioni and Sims Reeves rolled into one." If he stops loving her, may these things happen: "little dogs wag their tails in front," "cows lay eggs and fowls yield milk," "we never have to pay Income Tax..."


Broadside Bodleian Firth c.21(153) is the basis for the description.

A parody of the "if ever I prove false" theme floating among songs such as "When First Into this Country" and "I Live Not Where I Love." The parody is carried further by a broadside on drinking, to the tune of "If Ever I Cease to Love":

Bodleian, Firth c.16(407)[some lines illegible], "If Ever I Cease to Lush" ("I think its a sin, if ever there was one"), unknown, n.d. [but with a reference to the performers N.C. Bostock and Mark Alberts].

Maria Taglioni (1804-1884) was an Italian ballerina, most famous beginning in 1832; she retired in 1848 (source: "Maria Taglioni" in _Columbia Encyclopedia_, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2005). She is named as the quintessential dancer in other humorous broadsides; for example, see: NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(48a), "Newhaven Fishwife"; LOCSinging, sb30394a, "The Obstinate Girl."

John Sims Reeves (1818-1900) was an English opera singer who "made a great sensation" in 1848; he retired in 1891 (source: "John Sims Reeves" at the Wikipedia site). - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Firth c.21(153), "If Ever I Cease to Love" ("In a house, in a square, in a quadrant"), The Poet's Box(Glasgow), 1871; also Firth b.27(343), "If Ever I Cease to Love"


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1871 (broadside, Bodleian Firth c.21(153))
Keywords: love nonballad parody