Purcell – If Music be the Food of Love

Song Information

Title: If Music be the Food of Love

Composer: Henry Purcell (1659-1695)

Author: Colonel Henry Heveningham (1651-1700)

  • First seven words are part of a well known quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Sheet Music

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Audio Files



Song Text

If music be the food of love,
Sing on till I am fill’d with joy;
For then my list’ning soul you move
To pleasures that can never cloy.
Your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare
That you are music ev’rywhere.

Pleasures invade both eye and ear,
So fierce the transports are, they wound,
And all my senses feasted are,
Tho’ yet the treat is only sound,
Sure I must perish by your charms,
Unless you save me in your arms.