The poem first appeared in Hope's first collection of poems, The Garden of Kama (1901), also known as India's Love Lyrics.
The following year, when Amy Woodforde-Finden set to music Four Indian Love Lyrics, "Kashmiri Song" emerged as the most popular, quickly becoming a drawing room standard and remaining popular until the Second World War.
The phrase "beside the Shalimar" presumably refers to one of two Shalimar Gardens, the Shalimar Gardens Kashmir or the Shalimar Gardens Lahore. Although the former seems the likelier identification, given the song's title, the fact that Nicolson lived in Lahore gives some weight to the latter.
There have been numerous recordings of the song, including:
- Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber on the 2006 album Unexpected Songs
- One of only two Rudolph Valentino recordings in 1923.
The song has led an unusually varied life particularly in the field of popular culture. Some of the places where the song/poem is mentioned or quoted are:
- The Sheik, a 1921 film starring Rudolph Valentino, based on the novel The Sheik by Edith Maude Hull.
- Ford Madox Ford's novel Parade's End (1924-1928).
- Jack Conroy's novel A World to Win (1935)
- The film This Happy Breed (1944) based on Noël Coward's stage play (1939).
- The film Hers to Hold sung by Deanna Durbin (1943)
- Henry Miller's Sexus (1949)
- "Casanova's Chinese Restaurant", (1960) the fifth volume of Anthony Powell's novel sequence A Dance to the Music of Time.
- Gilbert Sorrentino's novel Aberration of Starlight (1980)
- A ghazal by Agha Shahid Ali (1997)
- Title of a short story by Anne Enright in her 2008 book "Yesterday's Weather".
- P.G. Wodehouse's Ring for Jeeves, quoted by captain Biggar
- Tom Holt's Lucia in Wartime (after E F Benson), where it is sung by Major Benjie.