> Folk Music > Songs > Still I Love Him

Still I Love Him / The Black Shawl /
Do You Love an Apple? / I'll Go With Him Wherever He Goes

[ Roud 654 ; TYG 33 ; Ballad Index K203 ; trad.]

Bob Roberts sang Still I Love Him in a 1950s recording made by Peter Kennedy at The Butt and Oyster, Pinmill, near Ipswich, Suffolk on the 1960 HMV EP The Barley Mow. He also sang it with the title The Black Shawl on his 1978 Topic LP Songs from the Sailing Barges.

Isla Cameron sang Still I Love Him in 1960 as the title track of her and Ewan MacColl's LP Still I Love Him. A.L. Lloyd commented in the liner notes:

This song comes from the repertory of Bob Roberts, a spritsail-barge skipper plying along the east coast of England. Mr. Roberts has a handful of social songs of this kind, chorus songs well-suited for ladies and gentlemen to sing with a mug in their hand. The tune is a relative of the familiar Willikins and His Dinah [Roud 271].

Eleanor Leith sang Still I Love Him in a concert at Leith Town Hall in November 1963. The concert recording was released in the following year on the Waverley album The Hoot'nanny Show Vol. 1.

Johnny Doughty sang Still I Love Him in a recording made by Mike Yates in Brighton, Sussex, in 1977. In was included in between 1987 and 1989 on a Veteran Tape cassette and in 2005 on the Veteran CD It Was on a Market Day. Mike Yates commented in the liner notes:

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger published a version of this in their book Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland (London, 1977. pp. 137-38) along with the following comment: “This is probably one of the most frequently reported songs in the British Isles and, undoubtedly, one of the least printed. Texts show considerable regional variation, though the refrains remain consistent and most versions retain the stanza which begins, ‘When I was single I wore a black shawl’. This would seem to indicate a relationship with The Joyful Maid and Sorrowful Wife, a song in which a wife's loss of youth and freedom are symbolically represented through juxtaposed items from her premarital and post marital wardrobe.” For a text of The Joyful Maid and the Sorrowful Wife, see Sam Cowell's 120 Comic Songs (London, 1850) or Dave Harker's Songs from the Manuscript Collection of John Bell (Durham, 1985. P.342)..

Ruth Notman sang Still I Love Him in 2007 on her debut CD Threads.

The Bothy Band called this song Do You Love an Apple? after the first words of their version. Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill sang it in 1975 on their eponymous debut LP, The Bothy Band. Janet Russell and Christine Kydd learned Do You Love an Apple? from the Bothy Band and recorded in in 1987 for their eponymous album Janet Russell & Christine Kydd.

Jon Boden learned this song from the Bothy Band too and sang it with the title I'll Go With Him Wherever He Goes as the November 14, 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

The Outside Track sang Do You Love an Apple? in 2015 on their CD Light Up the Dark. They commented in their liner notes:

Teresa [Horgan] and Cilian [Ó’Dálaigh] have been singing this song for many years, and it has transformed into a fresh take on the original. It has grown to what it is today from sharing it with good friends, particularly Neil Fitzgibbon.

Lyrics

Isla Cameron sings Still I Love Him

Oh, when I was single I wore a black shawl,
Now that I'm married I've nothing at all.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

Oh, I like an apple and I like a pear,
And I'm fond of a fellow with nice curly hair.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He comes down our alley and whistles me out,
And when I get out there, he knocks me about.
But still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He took me to an alehouse and ordered some stout
But before I could drink it he'd ordered me out.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

Oh, my eyes they're right tired, my fingers are sore,
Guttin' the herrin' he brings to the shore.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

Bob Roberts sings The Black Shawl

when I was single I had a black shawl,
Now I'm married, I've nothing at all.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He took me to the alehouse and bought me some stout
Before I could drink it he'd ordered me out.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He came up the row and he whispered me out,
Then he went off with young Kitty MacLeod.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He bought me a handkerchief, red, white and blue,
Then to clean windows he tore it in two.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

My back is a-breaking, my fingers are sore,
Gutting the herrin' he brings to the shore.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

The storm is a-raging, his boat isn't in,
Doesn't one tell me what's happened to him.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

If he's gone to heaven, he'll come to no harm.
If he's gone to hell, then he'll keep himself warm.
Still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

Ruth Notman sings Still I Love Him

When I was single I wore a plaid shawl,
Now that I'm married I've nothing at all.
Ah but still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He came to our alley and whistled me out,
A tail of the shirt from his trousers hung out.
Ah but still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He bought me a handkerchief, red, white and blue
But before I could wear it he tore it in two.
Ah but still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He borrowed some money to buy me a ring,
Then he and the jeweller went off on a fling.
Ah but still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

There's bread in the oven and cheese on the shelf,
So if you want anymore you can sing it yourself.
Ah but still I love him, I'll forgive him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

Johnny Doughty sings Still I Love Him

Now when I was single, I had a black shawl
And now that I’m married, I’ve got none at all.

Chorus (after each verse):
Still I love him and can’t deny him,
I’ll go with him wherever he goes.

He stood at the corner and whistles me out,
With his hands in his pockets, his shirt hanging out.

I had a blue handkerchief, red, white and blue
And outside the pawn shop I tore it in two.

He hits me and kicks me and gives me black eyes,
He says I goes drinking with men on the sly.

Jon Boden sings I'll Go With Him Wherever He Goes

Do you love an apple, do you love a pear?
Do you love a laddie with curly long hair?
And it's still I love him, I can't deny him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

Before I got married I'd sport and I'd play,
But now how the cradle it gets in the way.
And it's still I love him, I can't deny him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

Before I got married I wore a black shawl,
But since I got married I wore bugger-all.
And it's still I love him, I can't deny him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He stood at the corner, a fag in his mouth,
Two hands in his pockets, he whistled me out.
And it's still I love him, I can't deny him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

He works at the market for nine bob a week,
Come Saturday night he comes rolling home drunk.
But it's still I love him, I can't deny him,
I'll go with him wherever he goes.

(repeat first verse)

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: Do You Love an Apple?.