‘I Love Thee Still’

House Music at Your House

Even the simplest, shortest tunes could be a florid affair in the 19th century when a performer put their mind to it. Both male and female singers were taught to add extra notes to a song to demonstrate both skill and taste.

This copy of ‘I Love Thee Still’ was published in London (1833) and purchased from the Sydney music seller Francis Ellard sometime before 1840. The song was found at Rouse Hill Estate in a bound collection of music called the Dowling Songbook and contains the pencil markings of its earliest owners. Written by Jonathan Blewitt (born 1782), this song is typical of the light and often humorous ballads and ditties produced by this composer. English born, Blewitt spent some time in Ireland working on a new music teaching method with J.B. Logier. The Logerian system was quickly adopted by music teachers in Ireland and Britain and included group tuition and a series of published exercises such as this surviving example from 32 Exercises from Sequel to the First Companion to the Chiroplast, which was purchased and used in Sydney in the 1830s.

Despite some of his songs being extremely popular and copies printed in Great Britain, Ireland and North America, as well as freely available in Australia, Blewitt died in abject poverty in 1853.

Watch the performance

In his performance of ‘I Love Thee Still’, James Doig interprets the penciled ornaments found in the score along with the quite extensive printed ornaments. Take a listen and then have a go yourself! We have created the only available recording of this song, so we’ve added a couple of other tunes by the composer. Why not help us share more versions with the world.

You can find links to the music and lyrics below and perform and share your own interpretation.

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Listen to more examples

There are no other recordings of ‘I Love Thee Still’, so we have shared some other tunes composed by Jonathan Blewitt.


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Meet the performers

James Doig

James performs regularly as an instrumentalist and singer with professional and semi-professional ensembles. He sings oratorio, opera and lieder, and also works as a cantor, singing chant and sacred polyphony.

More about James

Lyrics

‘I Love Thee Still’ 

Do you ever dream of me, love, When the cold world is at rest?
Oft my heart vibrates to thee, love, Like some chord thy hand hath prest;
Could one thought of thee awaken, in my soul, a deeper thrill
‘Twould be thus, to live, forsaken, Yet to feel I love thee still, 
I love thee still, I love thee still, I love thee, love thee still.

Do you ever dream of me, love, When the cold world is at rest?
Oft my heart vibrates to thee, love, Like some chord thy hand hath prest;
Oft my heart vibrates to thee, love, to thee, love, to thee.

That sweet time hath past away, love! On whose wing, the light that shone,
Through the sunny air of day, love, Seem’d to smile on us alone.
But the light of life shall cherish, Yet a deeper, ling’ring thrill;
That must only waste, or perish, With the heart that loves thee still,
that loves thee still, that loves thee still, that loves thee still, that loves thee still.

Do you ever dream of me, love, When the cold world is at rest?
Oft my heart vibrates to thee, love, Like some chord thy hand hath prest;
Oft my heart vibrates to thee, love, to thee, love, to thee.


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