“Lavender Blue”


"Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly..." Singer tells his lady that she must love him because he loves her. He tells of a vale where young man and maid have lain together, and suggests that they might do the same, and that she might love him (and also his dog)


When I was four years old, I thought this song was stupid. Forty-five years later, I see no reason to change my mind. - PJS

Hard to argue that point based on the versions that I've heard, but the broadside version in the Digital Tradition hints that there is at least a little more going on behind the scenes. Linscott explains that the song, "of English origin, is connected with the amusements of Twelfth Night and refers to the choosing of the king and queen of the festivities."

The real problem may be that the version most people know comes from a Disney film. - RBW


  • Bodleian, Douce Ballads 1(56a), "Diddle, diddle" or "The Kind Country Lovers ("Lavenders green, didle, didle"), F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clark (London), 1674-1679


  1. Linscott, pp. 229-230, "Lavender's Blue" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Opie-Oxford2 299, "Lavender's blue, diddle, diddle" (3 texts)
  3. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #137, p. 113, "(Lavender blue and rosemary green)"
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 158, "Lavender Blue" (1 text)
  6. ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #140, "Lavender's Blue" (1 text)
  7. Roud #3483
  8. BI, FSWB158A


Alternate titles: “Diddle, Diddle (Or The Kind Country Lovers)”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1685 (broadside)
Keywords: courting sex love dog colors
Found in: Britain US(NE)