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Lavender's Blue

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When you are King, dilly dilly, I shall be Queen.

Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
‘Twas my own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.

Call up your friends, dilly, dilly set them to work,
Some with a rake, dilly dilly, some with a fork.

Some to make hay, dilly dilly, some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, dilly dilly, keep ourselves warm.

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When you are King, dilly dilly, I shall be Queen.

Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
Twas my own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so

Alternative (original) ending

If you should die, dilly dilly, as it may hap,
You shall be buried, dilly dilly, under the tap;

Who told you so, dilly dilly, pray tell me why?
That you might drink, dilly dilly, when you are dry.

Origin of Lavender's Blue

Lavender’s blue is an old English folk song that became a popular lullaby. The earliest known publication of the song was printed in England between 1672 and 1679, under the name “Diddle Diddle, Or The Kind Country Lovers”. This original version was actually much ruder, celebrating sex and drinking!

In 1805 it was published in a collection of nursery rhymes entitled “Songs for the Nursery”, with the lyrics as follows:

Lavender blue and Rosemary green,
When I am king you shall be queen;
Call up my maids at four o'clock,
Some to the wheel and some to the rock;
Some to make hay and some to shear corn,
And you and I will keep the bed warm.

The lullaby truly became popular in 1949, when it was sung by Burl Ives in the Walt Disney film So Dear to My Heart. This version was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. Vera Lynn, the famous Second World War era singer-songwriter, also recorded a version of the song in the same year.

 

Questions & Answers

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