Help finding a song from Victorian days
September 25, 2007 5:52 AM   Subscribe

Is there a real song with this lyric? "Where and how shall I earliest meet her? What are the words that she'll first say to me?"

I'm directing a production of Charley's Aunt and one of the characters sings this little bit of a song.

I'd like to be able to have the actor (me!) perform the lyric in the actual tune it was written in, and also incorporate the complete song into another part of the production.

It sounds like a sentimental song from the Victorian age, and of course that's exactly what I'd expect from "Charley's Aunt."

I've looked in several books of English song but no joy yet. Any experts on sentimental Victorian ballads about?
posted by bovious to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
It's "When and how...":

When and how shall I earliest meet her?
What are the words she first will say?
By what name shall I learn to greet her?
I know not now; it will come some day!
With the selfsame sunlight shining upon her,
Shining down on her ringlets' sheen,
She is standing somewhere - she I shall honor,
She that I wait for, my queen, my queen!

Whether her hair be golden or raven,
Whether her eyes be hazel or blue,
I know not now; but 'twill be engraven
Some day hence as my loveliest hue.
Many a girl I have loved for a minute,
Worshipped many a face I have seen:
Ever and aye there was something in it,
Something that could not be hers, my queen!

I will not dream of her tall and stately,
She that I love may be fairy light;
I will not say she must move sedately, -
Whatever she does it will then be right.
She may be humble or proud, my lady,
Or that sweet calm which is just between;
And whenever she comes she will find me ready
To do her homage, my queen, my queen!

But she must be courteous, she must be holy,
Pure in her spirit, this maiden I love;
Whether her birth be noble or lowly
I care no more than the spirits above.
But I'll give my heart to my lady's keeping,
And ever her strength on mine shall lean;
And the stars may fall, and the saints be weeping
Ere I cease to love her, my queen, my queen!
posted by pracowity at 6:02 AM on September 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Dayummnn...I thank you all.

1. I need to learn my lines
2. The Google is not my friend -- I swear I searched before I posted.

Many thanks.
posted by bovious at 6:15 AM on September 25, 2007

Just a pointer.. I specifically search small portions of the main text in quotes for better results.

In your line, "Where and how shall I earliest meet her?," taking "shall I earliest meet her" is probably going to be enough to find some pretty specific results. As a matter of fact, "shall I earliest" was enough to come back with good results in this case.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:20 AM on September 25, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks. I'll confess what I did so that those who come after may know of my folly:

First, I searched the wrong lyric: "Where and how shall I earliest meet her"

Then, I tried: lyric "where and how shall I earliest meet her"
Then, when I realized my mistake, I tried

lyric "when and how shall I earliest meet her"

which got me zippo.

Again, thanks.
posted by bovious at 6:29 AM on September 25, 2007

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