Love Is Teasin'
The Chieftains Lyrics


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I wish, I wish, I wish in vain,
I wish I were a maid again.
But a maid again I can never be
Until apples grow on an ivy tree.
For love it is pleasin' and love is teasin'
And love is a treasure when first it's new.
But as love grows older, then love grows colder
And it fades away like the morning dew.
There is a little house into town
And there my love, he sits him down.
He takes a strange girl on his knee
And he tells her things that he wants to be.
For love and water make younger older
And love and whiskey make her old and grey.
And what cannot be cured, love, must be endured, love,
And now I am bound for America.
La la la la la la ...
La la la la la la ...




As life grows older sure love grows older
And it fades away like the morning dew.

Overall Meaning

The Chieftains’ “Love is Teasin’” is a traditional ballad from Ireland that explores the complexities of love. The first stanza establishes the melancholic tone of the song as the singer expresses her despair over not being able to return to her youthful days. She admits that her desire is impossible to fulfill, comparing it to the likelihood of apples growing on an ivy tree - an alliteration that emphasizes the absurdity of her wish. The next stanza presents a contrasting perspective. Despite acknowledging the hardships that come with love, such as the inevitable deterioration of it, the singer also highlights its beauty and appeal, particularly when one first experiences it. The song continues to toggle between these two perspectives as the singer reflects on her lover and his unfaithfulness to her. She acknowledges the temptation of other women as well as the role of alcohol in influencing one’s feelings, concluding with the resignation of the difficulty of enduring the pain of love that cannot be mended.


The lyrics depict the cyclical nature of love, always starting anew for someone but inevitably extinguishing. The idea of the inevitability of love’s decay is furthered by the simile of love fading away like the morning dew, which emphasizes the fleeting and transient nature of the emotion. The juxtaposition of the two different perspectives on love creates a layered interpretation of the song that recognizes both its positive and negative aspects.


Line by Line Meaning

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain,
I deeply desire something I can never have.


I wish I were a maid again.
I long for the time when I was young and innocent.


But a maid again I can never be
I cannot go back to that time because it's long gone.


Until apples grow on an ivy tree.
It's an impossible wish, like expecting apples to grow on an ivy tree.


For love it is pleasin' and love is teasin'
Love can be both pleasurable and frustrating.


And love is a treasure when first it's new.
Love is most valuable when it's fresh and new.


But as love grows older, then love grows colder
Love can lose its intensity and warmth over time.


And it fades away like the morning dew.
Love can vanish just as quickly and easily as morning dew disappears.


There is a little house into town
There's a small house in the town.


And there my love, he sits him down.
My lover goes to that house.


He takes a strange girl on his knee
He sits with another woman on his lap.


And he tells her things that he wants to be.
He tells her his deepest desires and aspirations.


For love and water make younger older
Time passes and people grow older.


And love and whiskey make her old and grey.
Love and alcohol can take a toll on one's physical and emotional well-being.


And what cannot be cured, love, must be endured, love,
We have to accept what we cannot change in love.


And now I am bound for America.
I'm leaving for America now.


La la la la la la ...
Vocalization of tune


La la la la la la ...
Vocalization of tune


As life grows older sure love grows older
As people grow older, love ages with them.


And it fades away like the morning dew.
Love can disappear just like morning dew vanishes.




Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Written by: JEAN RITCHIE

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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tom canterbury


on North Amerikay

the great accapella version by kevin on tribute to their harpist

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