> Tim Hart and Friends > Songs > Lavender’s Blue (Dilly, Dilly)

Lavender’s Blue (Dilly, Dilly)

[ Roud 3483 ; Ballad Index FSWB158A ; VWML SBG/1/3/259 ; Bodleian Roud 3483 ; DT LAVNDR3 ; Mudcat 5330 ; trad.]

Tim Hart and Maddy Prior sang the nursery rhyme Lavender’s Blue in 1981 on Tim Hart and Friends’ album My Very Favourite Nursery Rhyme Record. This recording was in 1989 reissued on the compilation CD Favourite Nursery Rhymes and Other Children’s Songs.

The Tabbush Sisters sang Lavender’s Blue on their 2003 album This Close….

Martin Graebe and Shan Cowan sang Lavender Green in 2005 on their WildGoose album Parallel Strands. They noted:

Baring-Gould heard this sung by Louisa Williams in West Devon [VWML SBG/1/3/259] . She had only portions of the verses, and the tune that she sang it to was Bobbing Joan. Baring-Gould completed the ballad from the set in the Roxburghe Collection of ballads. Here and elsewhere it is known as Diddle, Diddle or The Kind Country Lovers and has a number of diddles scattered liberally throughout the verses. Louisa Williams clearly believed life was too short for that many diddles and, in any case, we cannot see how they would have fitted this tune. There is another song, My Dog and I which shares some of the verses but is extremely rude and confirms, as Steve Harrison suggested to us, that Dog was slang for the male member in the 17th Century.

Jackie Oates recorded Lavender’s Blue in 2006 for her eponymous first album, Jackie Oates.

Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer sang Lavender’s Blue on their 2007 CD Sliptease. They laconically noted:

This traditional song needs no introduction. So—here isn’t one.


Tim Hart and Maddy Prior sing Lavender’s Blue

Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly
Lavender’s green
When I am king, dilly dilly
You shall be queen
Who told you so, dilly dilly
Who told you so?
’T was my own heart, dilly dilly
That told me so

Call up your men, dilly dilly
Set them to work
Some to the plough, dilly dilly
Some to the fork
Some to make hay, dilly dilly
Some to reap corn
While you and I, dilly dilly
Keep ourselves warm

Roses are red, dilly dilly
Violets are blue
Because you love me, dilly dilly
I will love you
Let the bells sing, dilly dilly
And the lambs play
We shall be safe, dilly dilly
Out of harm’s way