Ah, how pleasant ’tis to love
is a simple, strophic song which was published in the second book of The Banquet of Musick
(1688). The lyrics are almost a precis of John Dryden’s ‘Ah, how sweet it is to love’ from his play Tyrannic Love
(1670), itself set to music by Purcell for a 1695 revival of the play. Robert Spencer has pointed out melodic similarities with ‘Fear no danger to ensue’ from Dido and Aeneas
which may (or, if we accept theories recently presented, may not) date from the same year. The message of the song is straightforward: it is wonderful to be in love. Some people enjoy good living, or build up great fortunes, but the lover needs only his loved one to supply every pleasure.
from notes by Robert King © 2003