I'll Weave My Love a Garland
DESCRIPTION: "I'll weave my love a garland, He shall be dressed so fine, I'll set it round with roses... For I love my love, and I love my love Because my love loves me." The singer wishes she were an arrow, a fish, a reaper, that she might more easily find him
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (de la Mare)
KEYWORDS: love separation
REFERENCES (1 citation):
ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; notes to #389, "I'll Overtake Thee" (1 text)
NOTES [174 words]: I have seen this listed as traditional. I suspect that means it's from an early literary source with no author listed, meaning that it is public domain but not traditional; I have found no field collections. But I thought I'd better include it just in case....
One thing we can say is that the song is part of a very long chain of linked folksongs. The burden "I love my love, and I love my love Because my love loves me" is, e.g., common in "A Maid in Bedlam," and a slightly different form, "Come you not from Newcastle," dates back at least to the Percy folio. Sir George Ogle fiddled with the form in "Grammachree Molly" (in the Index as "Grammachree"). And all of those link to many other songs.
I also find, in Maud Karpeles, Folk Songs of Europe, Oak, 1956, 1964, p. 93, a German song called "Sichelein Rauschen," "I Heard the Sound of a Sickle." which has many of the themes of this song. This strengthens my feeling that the English version is semi-literary, combining the "I love my love" burden with elements from the German. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2019 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.