From the recording The Vow, An Irish Wedding Celebration
11. Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms 3:07
In 1807, Thomas Moore published the "Melodies" which consisted of his own poetry set to music. Ten volumes later Moore's Melodies spread across America and Europe and spawned a love of parlour ballady which lasted well into the twentieth century. It was said that Beethoven himself thought highly of these melodies, even providing new arrangements. It may well have had something to do with the fact that they were ancient Irish airs, many originally collected by Edward Bunting. Bunting (1773-1843) painstakingly followed his passion for collecting these ancient airs from the old harpers with the certain knowledge that they would often be picked up by Moore for his next volume.
Tommy Makem once relayed the story of this song to me. Moore married a much younger woman and while he was on one of his tours, she contracted smallpox. She wrote him, telling him that she would be a much different looking woman when he returned. His reply was written in the form of this poem, which is arguably his best known and loved......"Melody."