“What Will You Do, Love”


He: What will you do when I sail away? She: I'll be true and pray for you. He: If I were untrue?" She: "I'd still be true but ... could not bear it!" He: If, near home, my ship were lost. She: If you were spared "I'd bless the morrow ... welcome thee"


Just what we needed. A Riley ballad before the guy has even been gone for seven years to let the girl realize what a jerk he is. - RBW

Broadside LOCSinging sb40552a: H. De Marsan dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(4223), "What Will You Do, Love?", A. Ryle and Co. (London) , 1845-1859 ; also Harding B 11(3584), "What Will You Do, Love"; Firth b.25(432), "What Will You Do, Love!"; Harding B 11(4222), "What Will You Do, Love?"
  • LOCSheet, sm1885 23659, "What Will You Do, Love", Grand Conservatory Pub. Co. (New York), 1885 (tune)
  • LOCSinging, sb40552a, "What Will You Do, Love?", H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878; also as103050, "What Will You Do, Love"


  1. O'Conor, p. 139, "What Will You Do, Love" (1 text)
  2. ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 407-408, "What Will You Do, Love?" (1 text)
  3. BI, OCon139


Author: Samuel Lover (1797-1868)
Earliest date: 1842 (Samuel Lover's novel "Handy Andy")