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Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender

GUEST,Rhiannon 17 Jan 02 - 08:17 AM
Deckman 17 Jan 02 - 08:36 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 17 Jan 02 - 09:37 AM
Don Firth 17 Jan 02 - 12:43 PM
Matthew Edwards 17 Jan 02 - 01:02 PM
Matthew Edwards 17 Jan 02 - 01:19 PM
Deckman 18 Jan 02 - 01:51 AM
Nerd 18 Jan 02 - 02:01 AM
GUEST,Rhiannon 19 Jan 02 - 06:54 AM
Deckman 19 Jan 02 - 07:41 AM
Matthew Edwards 22 Jan 02 - 11:15 AM
Sorcha 22 Jan 02 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,A Wandering Minstrel 22 Jan 02 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Pearl 22 Jan 02 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,Rhiannon 22 Jan 02 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Pearl 23 Jan 02 - 04:02 AM
Matthew Edwards 23 Jan 02 - 12:55 PM
GUEST,Pearl 23 Jan 02 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Pearl 25 Jan 02 - 03:53 AM
Matthew Edwards 25 Jan 02 - 07:53 AM
hesperis 25 Jan 02 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,Rhiannon 27 Jan 02 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Janet Geen 28 Jan 02 - 06:37 AM
hesperis 29 Jan 02 - 01:27 AM
Zany Mouse 09 Apr 10 - 11:52 AM
GUEST,Janet Geen 09 Apr 10 - 12:11 PM
Zany Mouse 09 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Apr 10 - 10:02 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Apr 10 - 10:25 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Apr 10 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,Stephen penfold 01 Jun 16 - 03:03 PM
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Subject: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Rhiannon
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 08:17 AM

I am searching for the lyrics of a song. I think it is traditional but not sure - I am sure someone will claim authorship if I am wrong.

The chorus is:
Who will buy my sweet lavender,
Sweet blooming lavender
Who will buy my sweet lavender
[??] bunches a penny.

The only other clues I can give is that the second line of each verse is "Sweet blooming lavender" and one verse starts "Buy them for my succour Sir".

Thanks,
Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 08:36 AM

About 1956 or 57, when Roy Guest, from England, showed up in Seattle, this was one of the songs he did frequently. I remember he mentioned that this was a street venders sing song from London. This was YEARS before the melody and chant was heard in "Oliver." CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 09:37 AM

"six branches for one penny"

is the last line. I only know the chorus from someone who sings it at our club. I will try and get the rest but it may take a few days.

There is an arrangement by Bob Ellson on "Voice of the People 11"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 12:43 PM

Oh, won't you buy my bloomin' lavender
Six bunches for a penny
You buy it once, you'll buy it twice
Because it makes your clothes smell nice

is the way I remember Roy Guest singing it.

Don Firth


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Subject: Lyr Add: WON'T YOU BUY MY SWEET BLOOMING LAVENDER?
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 01:02 PM

This song is sung by Janet Penfold on Songs of the Travelling People Saydisc cassette CSDL407, from a recording in Battersea, London by Peter Kennedy in 1958. The text is given in Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland #356:

Won't you buy my sweet blooming lavender?
There are sixteen blue branches a penny, all in full bloom.

You buy them once, you buy them twice.
It makes your clothes smell sweet and nice.

Come all you young ladies and make no delay,
My lavender's fresh from Mitcham and we're round once a day.

Some they're large, and some they're small
Please take them in and show them all.

'Twas early this morning, when the dew was a-falling,
I gathered my sweet lavender from the valley, all in full bloom.

Nows the time to scent your clothes and pocket handkerchiefs
And to keep those moths away.

Won't you buy my sweet blooming lavender?
There are sixteen full branches a penny all in full bloom.


Kennedy notes that Janet and her mother Florrie were possibly the last to use this old street cry in London. Florrie commented; "It was my grandmother learned us. They done it all their life and it sort of come through from generation to generation. It's because they like the smell of it and the people like to hear the London cry."

The version sung by Bill Ellson on My father's the king of the gypsies Topic TSCD 661 (Vol 11 in The Voice of the People series) differs slightly:

Will you buy my sweet blooming lavender?
For there's sixteen full branches for one penny all in full bloom.
You'll buy it once and you'll buy it twice.
For it makes your clothes smell sweet and nice.
For there's sixteen full branches for one penny all in full bloom.

Now all you young ladies make no delay.
For the moths are about in your clothes they may stay.
You'll buy it once and you'll buy it twice.
For it makes your clothes smell sweet and nice.
For there's sixteen full branches for one penny all in full bloom.


This recording by Mike Yates and Ken Stubbs in c.1975 originally appeared on the Topic LP 12T253 Songs of the Open Road. Bill Ellson came from Battersea and learned the song from his mother.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 01:19 PM

For an illustration of a lavender seller from Hodgson's Cries of London c.1835 see Cries of London


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Deckman
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 01:51 AM

Let's hear it for MUDCAT again. 6 posts, all on the same day, and I think we nailed it! What a team!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Nerd
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 02:01 AM

Of course, in Oliver it was

Who Will Buy My Sweet Red Roses, Two Blooms for a Penny...

Same idea, and a nice use of street cries all in very convenient harmony, if you like that sort of thing.

I agree with Bob, great thread!


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Subject: Lyr Add: WON'T YOU BUY MY SWEET BLOOMING LAVENDER?
From: GUEST,Rhiannon
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 06:54 AM

Thanks for all the replies, but none of them are the version I'm after. I have the version from Kennedy and a version collected by Sharp too:

Won't you buy my sweet blooming lavender,
Sixteen branches one penny
Ladies fair, make no delay
I have your lavender fresh today.
Buy it once, you'll buy it twice
It makes your clothes smell sweet and nice.
It will scent your pocket handkerchief
Sixteen branches for one penny
As I walked through London streets
I have your lavender nice and sweet
Sixteen branches for one penny.

(Mrs. Esther WIlliams, Hampstead, London 1908)

The version I'm after was sung with chorus and definitely had the line "Buy them for my succour, Sir", which doesn't appear in any of these versions.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 07:41 AM

Hmmmmmm! I wish you'd mind the rules. You are supposed to thank us, compliment us on our wisdom, and go on your way ... even if we DON'T get the right words! That way, we can feel smug and smart (hee hee) Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 11:15 AM

Rhiannon, I don't know whether I can help any further here. Do you have some reason for thinking that the version you are looking for might not be traditional? Do you remember something about the occasion where you heard it? Anything that you can recall about where or when you heard it, and who sang it might help jog somebody's memory. Was it a revival singer? a singer/songwriter?

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 11:27 AM

If it's a street sellers cry, as I understand it to be, there are likely to be hundreds of variants.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 11:43 AM

Rhiannon

I am still trying to catch up with the person who sings it at our club. I have left a message for her to contact me or post here.

This is definitely not the street cry version given above. AWM


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Subject: Lyr Add: WON’T YOU BUY MY SWEET LAVENDER
From: GUEST,Pearl
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 01:28 PM

Hi Rhiannon!

I believe the version you are looking for is the one I sing. I got this from Janet & Tony Geen who had the copy of the original broadsheet.

Chorus) Won’t you buy my sweet lavender
Sweet blooming Lavender
Oh buy my pretty Lavender
16 bunches a penny.

1) Buy some for your lady sir
Sweet blooming lavender
Oh pin them to her bonnet sir
16 Bunches a penny

2) Picked them fresh this morning sir
Sweet blooming lavender
See the dew a glistening there
16 bunches a penny

3) Buy some for my sucour sir
Sweet blooming lavender
Bless you for your kindness sir
16 bunches a penny

Hope this is the version you're looking for.
Love
Pearl

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 24-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Rhiannon
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 06:48 PM

Hi Pearl

Yep, that's the one. Many thanks. I couldn't remember who had sung it as it was years ago but it was probably you. I shall steal it now!!!

Hope you and Tony are well.

Luv, Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Pearl
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 04:02 AM

Hi Rhiannon Glad you picked it up okay. I typed it in properly but when posted to the sight it seemed to come out in one long line! I also had my purse stolen after Christmas in Sainsbury's and it had your card in it so couldn't email to you. If you get any funny calls or letters it's the thief!! Enjoy singing it anyway. Love to you and Mick Pearl


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 12:55 PM

Well done Pearl for nailing this one down. You mentioned that Tony Green has, or had, a copy of the original broadsheet. Does that give any clues as to the provenance of this version? Is it a modern composition, or from a nineteenth century collection? I'm getting quite intrigued by this and it would be interesting to know more. Sorcha rightly points out that there would probably have been dozens of different street cries, but most of these would have been short - only a few cries were lengthened to make songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Pearl
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 01:23 PM

Hi Matthew I will try to find out more from Tony & Janet Geen when I next see them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Pearl
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 03:53 AM

Hi Matthew I have seen Tony Geen - the original was a broadsheet but was indeed just a street cry. Janet Geen wrote the extra two verses. So there you go.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 07:53 AM

Hi Pearl, Thanks to you for finding that out, and thanks also to Tony and Janet Geen.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: hesperis
Date: 25 Jan 02 - 09:21 PM

What's the melody for this? It sounds like a pretty song, and I love lavender.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Rhiannon
Date: 27 Jan 02 - 07:30 AM

Hi Herperis
Yes, this is a very pretty song and I am really chuffed to have brought into the public eye again - (although I won't be chuffed if someone sings it before me in a session)!!!

I'm afraid I can't do the notation for this but I will see if Mick (MCP) can find the time to jot it down.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Janet Geen
Date: 28 Jan 02 - 06:37 AM

Hi Rhiannon, As Peal says, the song you are referring to was actually written by me many years ago. Well, that is to say, I was researching songs for a London set and came across a refrain and snatch of tune, and added the rest myself. It is of course an old street cry and I think I may still have my notes. When I dig them out I will post the full set of verses and any history attached to them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: hesperis
Date: 29 Jan 02 - 01:27 AM

Awesome! Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 11:52 AM

Janet,

Just returned to this thread again (after 8 years!) as I was thinking about singing it at a festival soon. Can I have your permission to use it please?

Beautiful song.

Herperis: did you ever get the tune?

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Janet Geen
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 12:11 PM

Hi Rhiannon
Sure, be my guest. Hope it goes well.
Janet


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM

Thanks, Janet


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAVENDER GIRL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 10:02 PM

We have a start here of a collection of songs about lavender-sellers. Here's another:

From The Columbian Songster ([Wrentham, Mass.]: Printed by Nathaniel Heaton, Jun., 1799), No. IV, page 14:


SONG LXXXII.
THE LAVENDER GIRL.

Whene'er I view the opening dawn,
And ruddy streaks bepaint the sky,
And birds their flight wing o'er the lawn,
To gather flow'rs or herbs I fly:

CHORUS: Primroses, Cowslips, Marj'rom sweet,
The daisy-pied, the snowdrop fair,
And cry them through each lane and street,
But now my cry's sweet Lavender:
Four bunches a penny sweet Lavender,
Four bunches a penny;
Come buy my sweet Lavender.

Mt dad and mama both no more,
By my own labor must I live;
But heaven's manna feeds the poor,
And orphans oft its aid receive. CHORUS

Oft pitying hearts to hear me hie,
With thanks is tak'n the smallest aid;
And gratitude calls forth a sigh,
From your poor little orphan maid. CHORUS


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAVENDER GIRL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 10:25 PM

From The Universal Songster and Museum of Mirth (Boston: Charles Gaylord, 1835), page 274:


THE LAVENDER GIRL.

As the sun climbs o'er the hills,
When the sky lark sings so cheerily
I my little basket fill,
And trudge along the village merrily
Light my bosom, light my heart,
I but laugh at Cupid's dart;
I keep my mother, myself and brother,
By trudging along to sell my lavender.

Ladies try it, come and buy it,
Never saw ye nicer lavender;
Ladies try it, try it, try it,
Come, come, buy my lavender.

Ere the gentry quit their beds,
Foes to health, I'm wisely keeping it;
Oft I earn my daily bread,
And sit beneath the hedge partaking it.
Ne'er repining, ne'er distress'd,
Tell me then am not I bless'd?
Tho' not wealthy, I'm young and healthy,
And only care to sell my lavender.

Ladies, try it, &c.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LAVENDER GIRL
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Apr 10 - 10:53 PM

From A History of the Cries of London, Ancient and Modern by Charles Hindley (London: Reeves and Turner, 1881), page 132:


THE LAVENDER GIRL.

I am poor, and my friends are all dead,
Nor mother nor father have I;
Cold charity finds me in bread,
And thus as I wander, I cry—
Sweet lavender!

I'm sad, and no comfort is mine;
I'm tired, and no home have I to rest;
In sorrow, neglected, I pine,
With a wearisome load at my breast.
Sweet lavender!

In vain through the day do I grieve
While taking my rounds, as you see;
The folks who are rich ne'er relieve,
Or pity a poor girl like me.
Sweet lavender!

Cold, cold blows the winterly wind,
The rain-drops they beat on my head;
When, when in the grave shall I find
Repose with my friends who are dead?
Sweet lavender!

Soon, soon may that hour come, I pray,
The time that sound slumber shall bring;
When no more in my grief I shall stray,
When no more with faint voice I shall sing—
Sweet lavender!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Blooming Lavender
From: GUEST,Stephen penfold
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 03:03 PM

My grandad used to sell and sing this lavender song. Edward Penfold.


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