[Ads-l] "Love makes the world go 'round"

Fri Jun 7 16:14:42 UTC 2019

It's from an old song, "Oh, 'Tis Love."  The initial lines are "Oh! 'tis love, 'tis love, 'tis love, That makes the world go round."  Lloyd's Song Book for 1847 gives the full text on page 59 and says it was published by Wybrow, https://books.google.com/books?id=ji1YAAAAcAAJ.  I don't see the sheet music online.

It's not clear exactly when it was published, but the earliest reference I see is from the New-York Tribune, Dec. 28, 1843, which quotes those lines (except that "'tis love" is given only twice).  The lines are also quoted in that form in Alice in Wonderland (1865), giving them lasting currency.

While the sheet music is not online, it does not seem to have been lost entirely.  A bookseller's catalog, http://www.simonbeattie.co.uk/catalogues/new_year_miscellany.pdf, offers it with some other songs.  The catalog suggests that it is from the 1820s (which seems a bit early, considering that there are a number of references to it in the 1840s but none before 1843) and indicates that it is adapted to C'est l'Amour.  This is presumably the song quoted in The Water-Babies (1862) as "C'est l'amour, l'amour, l'amour Qui fait la monde à la ronde."  YBQ cites the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, which apparently dates the song to 1851, but if the song is the source for an English language song that existed by 1843, it must be older.

John Baker

From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Arnold M. Zwicky
Sent: Friday 7 June 2019 9:15 AM
Subject: "Love makes the world go 'round"

One of the many topics that went past in my blog posting yesterday:

"What makes the world go 'round?"

It was used as a familiar saying already in Gilbert & Sullivan's 1882 _Iolanthe_, as I point out in this posting. Just idle curiosity, but is there any research on the origins of the formula? (Not the general idea that love is all-important, Amor Vincit Omnia and all that, but this very specific form of expression of the idea.)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org<http://www.americandialect.org>

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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