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I Know My Love

[ Roud 60 ; Laws P25 ; Ballad Index FSWB143 , LP25 ; trad.]

James McPeake of Belfast sang I Know My Love, accompanying himself on the harp, on the McPeake Family's 1963 Topic EP Wild Mountain Thyme. This EP was also included in 2009 on their same-named Topic reissue CD Wild Mountain Thyme.

Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr sang I Know My Love in 1995 on their second duo album, Shape of Scrape. A different mix (with a longer intro and a repeated chorus at the end) was later included in their compilation album On Reflection. Eliza Carthy noted on the original album:

Thanks to Ivy Poole and my mum for this. Ivy learned it from the McPeakes of Belfast.

Kevin Dempsey sang I Know My Love in 2006 on Swarb's Lazarus' live CD Live and Kicking.

Jon Boden sang I Know My Love as the 26 April 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. In his blog he calls this

Another Irish song I believe, but I know it from Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr’s Shape of Scrape album, which is in my opinion is a hugely important album. It certainly had a massive impact on me.

Lady Maisery sang I Know My Love in 2011 on their CD Weave & Spin (which got its name from a phrase in this song). They commented in their liner notes:

This is an Irish song we all know versions of and learnt via osmosis whilst growing up on the folk scene.

This YouTube video shows Lady Maisery singing I Know My Love at the Royal Oak Lewes on 27 October 2011:


Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr sing I Know My Love

I know my love by his way of walking
And I know my love by his way he's talking
And I know my love in his suit of blue
And if my love leaves me what will I do?

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
And still she cried, I love him the best
And a troubled mind knows no rest
And still she cried, bonny boys are few
But if my love leaves me, what will I do?

If my love knew I could wash and wring
If my love knew I could weave and spin
I'd make a jacket of the finest kind
But for want of money he's left me behind

There is a dance hall in Maradyke
There my love goes almost every night
He takes a strange girl upon his knee
Now don't you think that it vexes me

I know my love is an errant rover
I know my love sails the whole world over
In foreign lands he is sure to tarry
And some foreign girl he is sure to marry