The Dark Girl Dress'd In Blue

Album: various (1862)
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Songfacts®:

  • "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

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