Lavender's Blue - The Nursery Rhyme Collections

The Nursery Rhymes Collections 1-4 contain a total of 277 children's songs. Each double CD album showcases the highest quality children's music ever recorded with a total playing time in excess of 10 hours!

Lavender's Blue (Full Audio and Lyrics)

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When you are King, dilly dilly, I shall be Queen.
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.

Call up your friends, dilly, dilly set them to work,
Some to the plough, dilly dilly, some to the fork.
Some to the hay, dilly dilly, some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, dilly dilly, keep ourselves warm.

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green
When you are King, dilly dilly, I shall be Queen
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly, that told me so.

Words & Music: Traditional
Arrangement: Ian J Watts/Rick Benbow



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Origin and background

The origin of this rhyme goes back to the 17th century. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes the first version was printed between 1672 and 1685. It consisted of 10 verses. 8 of them are presented here:

Lavenders green, diddle diddle
Lavenders blue, diddle diddle
You must love me, diddle diddle
Cause I love you

I heard one say, diddle diddle
Since I cam hither
That you and I, diddle diddle
Must lie together

My hosttess maid, diddle diddle
Her name was Nell
She was a lass, diddle diddle
That I loved well

But if she dye, diddle diddle
By some mishap
Then she shall lie, diddle diddle
Under the tap

That she may drink, diddle diddle
When she's a dry
Because she loved, diddle diddle
My dog and I

Coll up your maids, diddle diddle
Set them to work
Some to make hay, diddle diddle
Some to the Rock

Some to make hay, diddle diddle
Some to the Corn
Whilst you and I, diddle diddle
keep the bed warm

Let the birds sing, diddle diddle
And the lambs play
We shall be safe, diddle diddle
Out of harms way

About a century later an abbreviated version was published in Songs for the Nursery (1805):

Lavender Blue and Rosemary green
When I am king, you shall be queen
Call up my maids at four a clock
Some to the wheel and some to the rock
Some to make hay and some to shear corn
And you and I will keep the bed warm


(Source: Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes)

For another 150 years the tune was popular in the nursery until a dance version of the song, called 'The Dilly Dilly Song', became popular. During 1948/1949 that particular version swept America and England:

Lavender's blue, diddle diddle
Lavender's gree
When I am king, diddle diddle
You shall be queen

Call up your men, diddle diddle
Set them to work
Some to the plough, diddle diddle
Some to the cart

Some to make hay, diddle diddle
Some to thresh corn
Whilst you and I, diddle diddle
Keep ourselves warm

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