Lavender's Blue

Album: Sing-A-Long Songs (1922)

Songfacts®:

  • This is a traditional English song first printed in 1680 under the title "Diddle, Diddle." The narrator is smitten by a girl and tries to convince her to reciprocate his feelings, singing, "You must love me, diddle, diddle, 'cause I love you." Early versions indicate the song should be sung to the tune of "Lavender Green," and contain bawdier lyrics about the lovers' courtship. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lyss - Riverhead, NY
  • In 1805, this was published as a children's song in Songs For The Nursery. In this version, the singer promises, "When I am king, you shall be queen." Folklorist Eloise Hubbard Linscott linked the rendition to Twelfth Night, which is a Christian holiday that takes place on the last night of the Twelve Days of Christmas. One popular custom includes a special cake containing a pea and a bean; whoever receives those slices are designated king and queen of the festivities.
  • The tune was popularized in the 1948 Disney film So Dear To My Heart, which follows a boy's efforts to raise a lamb that was rejected by its mother. Burl Ives, who plays the boy's uncle, sings the song in the movie. That version, with lyrics by Larry Morey and music by Eliot Daniel, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to "Baby It's Cold Outside" from Neptune's Daughter.

    Morey is known for writing several big Disney tunes, including "Heigh-Ho" and "Some Day My Prince Will Come," while Daniel's best-known composition is the iconic theme song to I Love Lucy.
  • This was a hit for two Sammys on the Hot 100: jazz bandleader Sammy Kaye (#5, 1949) and soul singer Sammy Turner (#3, 1959). It's also been recorded by Vera Lynn, Dinah Shore, The Fleetwoods, Leon and Mary Russell, and the children's group The Wiggles. David Bowie also included a couplet in a 1983 live recording of "Heroes" from the concert film Serious Moonlight.
  • This inspired the 1985 UK hit "Lavender" by the British rock band Marillion.
  • This was featured in the 2015 live-action adaptation of Cinderella, where it's sung by Cinderella's mother (Hayley Atwell) and later by a grown-up Cinderella (Lily James) when she's locked in a room by her evil stepmother. An orchestral version was also used throughout the film.
  • This was used on the TV series Boardwalk Empire in the 2011 episode "Peg Of Old," when Freida (Laurie Dawn) sang it to a newborn baby. It was also featured in the Netflix series The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, where it's sung by the ghost of Constance (Alvina August) in the 2019 episode "Blackwood." (In the related comic book series, it's also sung by Sabrina's mother.)

Comments: 5

  • Dave from Minneapolis I have always been curious about the meaning of lavender GREEN. One source says that one early version had it as ROSEMARY's green. I have another thought. The lavender blossom comes in a variety of colors, but green is not one of them. However, a gathering of blue lavender will be in a nest of beautiful green stems and leaves. I imagine that a bridal clutch of lavender and a gown decorated as such would have lavender blue and lavender green.
  • Bill from Ft. Myers, , FlSammy Turner released a version titled 'Lavender Blue' in 1959. It is my alltime favorite song.
  • James from Westchester, EnglandIn Marillion's version (all 2 1/2 minutes of it) Fish claims some children were singing this song, and that it was like a song he wanted to write for his girlfriend.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesMarillion's version was simply titled "Lavender".
  • Andy from Indiana, PaAlso the name of a Marillion single in which the chorus borrows from the traditional song.
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