November 22, 2011
Lavender BlueIn the fall of 1985, I was listening to a cassette tape of Misplaced Childhood by Marillion. I'm pretty sure I stretched the tape by playing it so much.
----I was listening to a wide variety of music at the time, but this album was something else entirely. I was fascinated by the lack of breaks between songs.... the whole album just flowed together, like some modern pop opera.
One of the tracks "Lavender" was particularly intriguing because it was a song within a song. In it, the singer is talking about a song that some children are singing:
Ever since hearing Lavender, somewhere in the back of my mind I've been wondering about the origin of the song within the song. It was supposed to be a children's song, but it wasn't one I grew up with. I admit I never did any kind of search, nor did I ask anyone else about it - I just wondered.
Fast forward from 1985 to 2011. I was rummaging through some boxes in our basement, looking for some Christmas music for my daughters to play on the piano. We've just moved into a new house, so I had to go through a number of boxes before finally stumbling on the right one.
In one of the boxes that I searched along the way, I discovered some old sheet music. My grandmother had played the organ, and a collection of music books and sheet music was given to me after she passed away. I had never gone through it in detail. Tonight, after the girls went to sleep, I looked at everything in the pile, and there it was: Lavender Blue, in sheet music, dated 1948.
I thought immediately of the Marillion song, and at the same time I wondered how close the original song would be to the one encapsulated within Marillion's Lavender. Here are the lyrics from the chorus on the sheet music:
However, the top of the score indicates that the music is from the movie So Dear To My Heart. Hmm, that seemed suspicious - I couldn't imagine that this song was originally written for a Disney movie. So I went searching in Google - finally - after 26 years, and darned if this isn't an old and very well known English folk song.
Looks like untold scores of children in England knew what took me 26 years to stumble upon.
For comparison, here is Lavender by Marillion:
And here is Lavender Blue, sung in the folk song style:
Posted by Hammer at 12:02 AM