The Dark Girl Dress'd In Blue

Album: various (1862)
Play Video


  • "The Dark Girl Dress'd In Blue" was performed as a musical monologue by Stanley Holloway (1890–1982), but it was arranged by Harry Clifton in 1862, adapted from a traditional ballad. It was performed initially by Clifton himself, and by both George Leybourne and Kate Harley.
  • The song is set in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition, the narrator (and victim) travels in August of that year from his Lancashire village to the capital where he meets this alluring creature on an omnibus. She tricks him into passing a fake £5 note, a considerable sum at that time (in 1851, a bricklayer - a skilled labourer - would probably earn less than ten shillings a week). No sooner has she taken her change than she vanishes, and is replaced by a man in blue, who promptly arrests him. Asked about the note he relates this improbable tale, and is believed, probably because he is not the first young man to be so duped. Although he is not charged, he forfeits his money, and this is the point of the tale: it isn't only young ladies who should beware of strangers. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Christmas Songs

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Boy Bands

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song Titles

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song TitlesMusic Quiz

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have some rather unusual song titles - see if you can spot the real ones.

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.