I'll never leave you

Music: Trad. arr. Alasdair MacLean. Words: 18th century anon., adapted by Alasdair MacLean
SATB & piano
performance time approx 3m 00s
Range S: d' — f''# / A: g — d'' / T: d — f'# / B: G — d'
Price code: B
Complexity: **

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This piece is part of the set Five Scottish songs
The next piece is Where are the joys?
If you don't want to buy the whole set, then you can buy I'll never leave you individually using the link on this page.
This song of devotion appears in the 19th century collection Songs of Scotland edited by George Farquhar Graham. The lyrics were written for the tune by ‘a friend of the publishers’ but are clearly based largely on earlier versions of the song, such as the one published in the British Musical Miscellany (1736). The tune is also old. It appeared in several 18th century collections and almost certainly dates back at least a century before that, as it is mentioned as a ‘popular tune’ in a 1673 collection of pious verse.

Like number 3 in the set, this song makes an antidote to the tale of desertion in the first song.

The recording is by the Elliott Chorale of Mount Allison University, Canada, dir. Gayle Martin, and is used with permission.


Why should your cheek be pale,
Shaded with sorrow’s woe?
Why should you grieve me?
I will never, never leave you.
‘Mid my deepest sadness,
‘Mid my deepest gladness,
I am yours, believe me;
I will never, never leave you.

Ne’er till my cheek grows pale,
And my heart pulses fail,
And my last breath grieve you,
Can I ever, ever leave you.
‘Mid my deepest sadness,
‘Mid my deepest gladness,
I am yours, believe me;
I will never, never leave you.

18th century anon., adapted by the composer

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