If Ever I Cease to Love
DESCRIPTION: 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..."
EARLIEST DATE: 1871 (broadside, Bodleian Firth c.21(153))
KEYWORDS: love nonballad parody
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"
cf. "That the Stones of the Street May Turn Up the Pig's Feet" (subject and some text)
NOTES: 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
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