Kashmiri Song

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"Kashmiri Song" sheet-music cover

"Kashmiri Song" is a 1902 song by Amy Woodforde-Finden based on a poem by Laurence Hope, pseudonym of Adela Florence Nicolson.

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.

Words[edit]

Poem: Kashmiri Song
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell?
Whom do you lead on Rapture's roadway, far,
Before you agonise them in farewell?
Oh, pale dispensers of my Joys and Pains,
Holding the doors of Heaven and of Hell,
How the hot blood rushed wildly through the veins
Beneath your touch, until you waved farewell.
Pale hands, pink tipped, like Lotus buds that float
On those cool waters where we used to dwell,
I would have rather felt you round my throat,
Crushing out life, than waving me farewell!
Lyrics: Kashmiri Song
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,*
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell?
Whom do you lead on Rapture's roadway, far,
Before you agonise them in farewell?
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
Where are you now? Where are you now?
Pale hands, pink tipped, like Lotus buds that float
On those cool waters where we used to dwell,
I would have rather felt you round my throat,
Crushing out life, than waving me farewell!
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
Where are you now? Where lies your spell?
* Gardens

Interpretations[edit]

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.

Recordings[edit]

There have been numerous recordings of the song, including:

Among famous singers to record the song in the inter-war years, there are 3 versions by Peter Dawson, two by Frank Titterton, and single versions by John McCormack and Richard Tauber.

Culture[edit]

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:

References[edit]

External links[edit]