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Origins: The Bunch of Violets

DigiTrad:
THE BUNCH OF VIOLETS


GUEST,Jenny S 12 Oct 05 - 02:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Oct 05 - 04:08 PM
Liz the Squeak 12 Oct 05 - 04:13 PM
Joe Offer 13 Oct 05 - 04:34 AM
manitas_at_work 13 Oct 05 - 11:14 AM
Jenny S 13 Oct 05 - 03:20 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 13 - 06:29 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 13 - 06:51 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 13 - 07:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 13 - 08:29 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 13 - 08:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Sep 13 - 08:57 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 13 - 05:06 AM
GUEST 23 Sep 13 - 08:42 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Sep 13 - 08:53 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Sep 13 - 09:45 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Sep 13 - 11:43 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Sep 13 - 12:19 PM
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Subject: THE BUNCH OF VIOLETS
From: GUEST,Jenny S
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 02:58 PM

Can anyone tell me who wrote this? In the DT it is listed as "recorded by the New Victory Band".
I have it on a recording by Ina Miller, listed as "trad".
However, it doesn't sound "trad" to my mind...


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Subject: RE: THE BUNCH OF VIOLETS
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 04:08 PM

Possible references to this song, but have not heard the recordings- Rod Stradling, writing in Mustrad.ord (review of Kilgariff, "Sing us one of the old songs"), says "composer at present unknown." It is sung by Daisy Chapman in a recent or forthcoming cd. Also sung by Sean Dunphy on his cd.
www.mustrad.org.uk/reviews/sing_bk.htm

Several songs with the title, making it difficult to look for.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Oct 05 - 04:13 PM

Napoleon was given bunches of violets by people who supported him and his troops in France... it may have longer roots than some think.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 04:34 AM

Yeah, it certainly looks like a composed song - my guess is it's a parlor song from the late 19th century. I found listings for several recordings of the song, but nothing about it in the usual songbook and sheet music indexes.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 11:14 AM

Wasn't this in the repertoire of Phoebe Smith?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Jenny S
Date: 13 Oct 05 - 03:20 PM

Hm. interesting.

'A Bunch of Violets Blue' brings up many more references on Google.
Currently working my way through the 1570 listings, but so far no info - mostly dicography listings only.

The most interesting snippet so far concerns Daisy Chapman (http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/chapman.htm):

"Unusually, there's only one other known version of the song in Roud, and that's another sound recording - of George Hirst of Dorchester, Dorset, collected by Nick & Mally Dow, in 1986 and published on the cassette Diamonds in the Dew, (Old House OHC 108). Danny Stradling also recorded Daisy's version with the Old Swan Band on Old Swan Brand (Free Reed FRR028) in 1978. Daisy's will probably be the only recording currently available. "

A recording to add to my wish-list!


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Subject: Lyr Add; A TINY BUNCH OF VIOLETS FROM NO-MAN'S LAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 13 - 06:29 PM

Probably not the one that was wanted, but interesting nonetheless:

From the sheet music at Mississippi State University (Another copy is held by Indiana University.):


A TINY BUNCH OF VIOLETS FROM NO-MAN'S LAND
Words by Joe Lyons, music by Frank Magine.
Chicago: Roger Graham, ©1918.

1. No-man's land a soldier boy was crossing,
When some violets he found.
With a tender prayer and loving care,
He gathered each one growing there.
To his mother o'er the sea,
He wrote so tenderly:

CHORUS: A tiny bunch of violets from No-man's land,
I'm sending them, Mother, to you.
I found them beyond the trenches here.
'Mid scattered shot and shell they grew.
They seemed so all alone,
And they make me think of home,
Of your love for me so true.
A tiny bunch of violets from No-man's land,
I'm sending them, dear Mother, to you.

2. Tender are the hearts of bravest soldiers.
Loving are the lads that dare,
For each soldier true will die or do,
For his native land, for me and you;
And the heart these flow'rs entwine
Knows a love that seems divine.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A BUNCH OF VIOLETS (Mena M. Raymond)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 13 - 06:51 PM

Sheet music for this song is held by the National Library of Australia. The cover is missing. Is it possible other verses are missing as well?


A BUNCH OF VIOLETS
Words and music by Mena M. Raymond
[Melbourne? : Allan & Co.?, 192-?]

I have a little bunch of violets, sweetheart, you gave to me.
Although they're dead and withered, still a treasure they are to me.
Each night I kiss my bunch of violets in sweetest memory,
And pray to God in heaven that you'll come back to me.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ONLY A BUNCH OF VIOLETS (Gould/Heller)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 13 - 07:40 PM

From the sheet music at the Maine Music Box. (Other copies are held by The University of Oregon: copy1copy2.)


ONLY A BUNCH OF VIOLETS
From the melodies of the famous "Love Waltz"
Words by Lettie Gould, music by Jerome Heller.
New York: Church, Paxson and Company, ©1912.

1. When the sun sinks to rest
In the far distant west,
And with longing I gaze into your eyes, dear,
Will your love be as true
As your eyes are of blue?
Give me one sweet flower to say you are near.

CHORUS: Only a bunch of sweet violets, each one brings me bliss;
For within their heart, dear, lies a tender kiss.
Give me your heart with your kisses, dear; say you love but me.
Be my own for ever, and I'll happy be.

2. Sometimes dreams come to me
And your sweet face I see,
Smiling up through the violet so blue, dear,
And I long for the day
When the dreams fade away,
Bringing me my sweetheart so faithful and true.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 13 - 08:29 PM

"Bunch of Violets," or "Il mazzolin delle viole," 1876 sheet music, based on original song by Ciro Pinsuti; sheet music is in Music for the Nation, American Sheet Music, Library of Congress. Lyrics in both English and Italian. First lines:

"I bring you flowers rare
First April blossoms,
Sweet violets, Lady fair
to grace thy bosom.

They have sheet music for several other songs about violets.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A PRETTY BUNCH OF VIOLETS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 13 - 08:46 PM

Sheet music is in the Library of Congress:


A PRETTY BUNCH OF VIOLETS
Words by William Hardman, music by Fannie Goodwin Lunt.
New York: Spear & Dehnhoff, ©1879.

A pretty bunch of violets, so tender fresh and fair,
He gave me as we parted, to decorate my hair,
And as I gently raise them, with just one little sigh,
My heart recalls with fondness when Willie said goodbye!
My heart recalls with fondness when Willie said goodbye!

A pretty bunch of violets, so tender fresh and fair,
He gave me as we parted to decorate my hair.

With words of cheer when parting he gave them unto me,
And said, "Now, darling, promise that you'll not lonely be!"
But oh! my pretty violets, how can I then but sigh,
When faded is their beauty forever from mine eye?
When faded is their beauty forever from mine eye?

A pretty bunch of violets, so tender fresh and fair,
He gave me as we parted, to decorate my hair.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Sep 13 - 08:57 PM

I suppose "A Sweet Bunch of Cresses," sheet music in Library of Congress, is not the song sought.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 13 - 05:06 AM

Just a suggestion.
When a request for information on a song is posted and some of the lyrics are known (even if they're in the DT) it would be very helpful if the OP posted a few of the lyrics, perhaps first verse and chorus and then it avoids all of this confusion of having several songs with the same title.

It might even be helpful to have a notice to this effect on the Home Page.

If the OP will follow this suggestion I will check Kilgarriff in the first instance.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 13 - 08:42 AM

Here's a Bridie Gallagher bunch. Does it bring tears to the eye.. or nausea to the stomach?

I found her lying by the wayside,
A little bunch of violets in her hand,
Her little arms were bare around her ??
And I knew she was going to die.

Her lips were opened as in sweet reply,
She was as white as snow,
The Master in the sky had eased her pain,
And her little heart refused to go.

Tears fled my eyes like April rain,
I thought, please let me understand,
How anyone could hit a child and run,
With a little bunch of violets in her hand.

I bowed my head and said a little prayer,
With all the strength at my command,
That He would find a place in heaven,
For the little bunch of violets in her hand.

Please find a little place in heaven,
For the little bunch of violets in her hand.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Sep 13 - 08:53 PM

Ina Miller sings Scottish songs; could it be Scottish?
A few lines are needed in order to isolate this song from many others about violets.

Michael Kilgarriff in his guide to 1860-1920, has no entry for "Bunch of Violets;" Louise Kirkby Lunn sang "Violets;" Elizabeth Rainforth sang ""The Violet."


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Subject: Lyr Add: BUNCH OF VIOLETS BLUE (from Brendan Shine
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Sep 13 - 09:45 PM

I've been unable to find any printed antecedents of this song, although the one in the DT is obviously related:


BUNCH OF VIOLETS BLUE
As sung by Brendan Shine

1. It was out in a moonlit garden, not far from the ballroom grand.
A young lad and his sweetheart went strolling hand in hand.
Tomorrow the war would call him; he vowed he would be true.
Then from her dress she gave to him a bunch of violets blue.

2. They were only a bunch of violets, a bunch of violets blue,
Fresh and fair and fragrant, like diamonds on the dew,
Fresh and fair and dainty as he pressed them to his heart.
He smiled and said where'er he'd roam, from them he ne'er would part.

3. A soldier boy lay dying upon the cold, cold ground.
A bunch of withered violets upon his breast was found.
Turning to his comrades, in a feeble voice he sighed:
"Take them back and tell her that I wore them till I died."

4. They took the withered violets back, it being on her wedding day.
An old man's gold had won her from her soldier far away.
An old man's gold had won her from her soldier young and tall,
And this was what she said to him that evening at the ball:

REPEAT #2.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Sep 13 - 11:43 AM

Ah that's better. Yes, nothing in Kilgarriff but I have almost the same text in Evergreen magazine, Winter 1999. The significant interest lies in v3 of this version which runs

A soldier lad lay dying, way out on Flanders field
A bunch of faded violets upon his breast lay sealed.
He said unto his comrades, 'My life is fading fast,
So take them back and tell her that I wore them to the last.

Now this was remembered by an Australian from WWII. The style could be anything from 1890 to 1940, but I think this particular version would be WWI. It looks like some deliberate rewriting has gone on in one version or the other.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Bunch of Violets
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Sep 13 - 12:19 PM

The National Library of Australia has the following sheet music:

Bunch of Violets- C. W. Bennett
Beautiful Blue Violets- G. Herbert Rodwell,
A Bunch of Violets- Mena M. Raymomd 192?
Sweet Violets (Tune, Bluebells of Scotland)- 1800?
Several Violets, Music only
A Bunch of Flowers, no. 4, The Violet- Poems and music, Selva and De Giorgio
Wild Violets (music)- Stolz
Scented Violets- Reynard
Etc., etc., etc.

But I prefer the children's song:

Violets
Sweet Violets
Sweeter then all the roses
--------
Covered all over with ------


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