My Lodging It Is On the Cold Ground
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This was written by Matthew Locke (1621-1677). The tune appears in The Dancing Master (1665). The song was performed in the play The Rivals, which was based on Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen. The play was performed in 1664, but became most popular around 1667 when Moll Davis appeared in it. Moll Davis became Charles II mistress and bore his child. It was said that she sang the song "so touchingly that the song raised her from the cold ground to the royal couch."*

This is the original air. There is a later tune to which the words were set. That tune is the one to which Thomas Moore set his lyrics Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms.

My lodging it is on the cold ground,
And oh! very hard is my fare,
But that which troubles me most is
The unkindness of my dear.
Yet still I cry, 'Oh turn, love,'
And Prithee, love turn to me,
For thou art the man that I long for,
And alack! what remedy?'

'I'll crown thee with a garland of straw then,
And I'll marry thee with a rush ring;
My frozen hopes shall thaw, then,
And merrily will we sing:
O turn to me, my dear love,
And prithee love, turn to me;
For thou art the man that alone canst
Procure my liberty.'

But if thou wilt harden thy heart still
And be deaf to my pitiful moan,
Then I must endure the smart still
And tumble in straw alone:
Yet still I cry, 'O turn love,
And prithee, love, turn to me!
For thou art the man that alone art
The cause of my misery.'
Related Links
From *One Hundred Songs of England
See Bibliography for full information.