Medieval or Early Modern love song

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Document: Medieval or Early Modern love song, 1457-1530. Catalogue ref: E 163/22/1/1

Description: This love song was sketched on the back of an official document, likely by someone working within the King's Remembrancer office in the Exchequer. The song expresses feelings of unrequited love, starting with the phrase: 'Alone I live, alone.'

It was probably quite a common song - the refrain in particular can be found in a book of love songs in the British Library, which was probably owned by Henry VIII. Was it sung at his court?

The song was potentially recorded on this document during a period of conflict, during or after the War of Roses (1455–1487).

Read a transcript of this document:

Learn about another song found recorded in a document, this time from 1537:

Explore a love letter from 1623 in our James I document collection:

Learn more about Henry VIII's court in our lesson resource:


Owner: The National Archives UK
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 6930

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