A Shropshire Lad XVIII and XIII [demo]

I wrote the tune for A Shropshire Lad XVIII (Oh when I was in love with you) back in the 80s (and always sang it unaccompanied). Much more recently, I noticed that the same tune fits just as well for XIII (When I was one-and-twenty).

Update: here’s a version that combines the two pieces with a linking ‘orchestral’ section.

More information https://davidharleysongs.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/when-i-was-one-and-twenty-demo/.

Poem by A.E. Housman, set to a tune by David Harley. All rights reserved. 

The lyric from XVIII is available from the Housman Society.


          Oh, when I was in love with you,
           Then I was clean and brave,
          And miles around the wonder grew
           How well did I behave.

          And now the fancy passes by,
           And nothing will remain,
          And miles around they'll say that I
           Am quite myself again.

Here’s a demo of XVIII with guitar accompaniment:

The Housman Society also has the lyric for XIII.


          When I was one-and-twenty
           I heard a wise man say,
          "Give crowns and pounds and guineas
           But not your heart away;
          Give pearls away and rubies
           But keep your fancy free."
          But I was one-and-twenty,
           No use to talk to me.

          When I was one-and-twenty
           I heard him say again,
          "The heart out of the bosom
           Was never given in vain;
          'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
           And sold for endless rue."
          And I am two-and-twenty,
           And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

And here’s a demo of XIII:  It’s not yet in my live repertoire, but I’m thinking that the two might make a good back-to-back recording, starting with XVIII, proceeding to an instrumental section and then to XIII. Watch this space.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World


About David Harley

Former Computer Security Author/Editor; Independent Antimalware Researcher; guitarist/singer/songwriter
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