> Shirley Collins > Songs > Love Is Teasing / Love Is Pleasing
> June Tabor > Songs > I Never Thought My Love Would Leave Me

Love Is Pleasing / Love Is Teasing / I Never Thought My Love Would Leave Me

[ Roud 1049 ; Master title: Love Is Pleasing ; Ballad Index Rits024 ; DT LOVETEAS , TAVTOWN2 ; Mudcat 9734 ; trad.]

Jean Ritchie sang O Love Is Teasin’ in 1952 on her Elektra album Singing the Traditional Songs of Her Traditional Kentucky Mountain Family. Edward Tatnall Canby wrote in the sleeve notes:

The laws of folk music propagation are flexible. Jean Ritchie picked this tune up from an Irish girl in New York—it is of the vast body of English-Scottish-Irish song and a good representation of those songs in every language lamenting the coldness of old love, after the warmth of the new. The English “waly” songs also tell of this.

Shirley Collins learned Love Is Teasing from the singing of Jean Ritchie. She recorded it it 1958/59 for her Collector EP Shirley Sings Irish and in 1964 as Love Is Pleasin’ with Davy Graham for their album Folk Roots, New Routes.

Bill Ellson played the tune Love Is Pleasing on his mouth organ at his home in Broomsmead near Edenbridge, Kent, c. 1975; This recording by Mike Yates was included on the Topic anthologies Songs of the Open Road (1975) and My Father’s the King of the Gypsies (The Voice of the People Volume 11; 1998). He also played in on accordion on the Topic anthology Travellers: Songs, Stories and Tunes From English Gypsies (1975).

June Tabor sang I Never Thought My Love Would Leave Me in 1983 on her Topic album Abyssinians. This track was also included in 2005 on her Topic anthology Always. She commented in the latter’s booklet:

Isabel Sutherland collected this song from one of the Stewarts at Blairgowrie. It felt right as soon as I heard it and I knew I wanted to sing it.

I can’t find this Blairgowrie version in the Roud index or on any of my Stewart Family albums and have tentatively sorted it here. It might be catalogued as There is a Tavern (Roud 60; Laws P25) too.

Norman Kennedy learned I Little Thocht My Love Wid Leave Me from Isla Cameron in the early 1960s. He sang it at a concert in Watertown near Boston on 23 October 1999 that was released in 2004 on his Autumn Harvest CD I Little Thocht My Love Wid Leave Me.

Andrew Cadie sang Love Is Pleasing on his 2006 album The Snow Tree.


Shirley Collins sings Love Is Pleasin’

Oh love is teasin’ and love is pleasin’
And love’s a treasure when first it’s new.
But as love grows older and then grows colder
And fades away like the morning dew.

I left my mother and I left my father,
I left my brothers and my sisters too.
I left my home and my fond relations,
I left them all for the love of you.

Now if I had known before I courted
That love had been so hard to hold,
I’d have locked my heart in a box of silver
And bound it fast with a key of gold.

(repeat first verse)

June Tabor sings I Never Thought My Love Would Leave Me

I never thought that my love would leave me
Until that morning when he came in.
He sat down and I sat beside him;
’Twas then our troubles they did begin.

Oh love is pleasing and love is teasing
And love is a pleasure when first it’s new.
But love grows older and grows quite colder
And fades away like the morning dew.

There is a tavern in yon town
And there my love goes and he sits down.
He takes a dark girl on his knee
And tells her what he once told me.

There is a blackbird sits on yon tree;
Some say he’s blind and cannot see.
Some say he’s blind and cannot see
And so is my false love to me.

I wish my father had never whistled,
I wish my mother had never sung;
I wish the cradle had never rocked me,
I wish I’d died, love, when I was young.