One word photo challenge: Lavender.

The flower.  Of course.  It had to be, didn’t it? I actually thought it seemed a bit of a poor year for lavender whilst I was back in England.  Maybe I’d missed them at their best, but the flowers just didn’t seem as profuse and vibrant as usual.  Maybe too much hot weather and not enough rain?  The bees didn’t seem to mind though.

bee heaven!

bee heaven!

Aside from the flower, this week’s One Word Photo Challenge also made me think of the old fashioned little rhyme. Maybe you know it?

Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly, lavender’s green,

When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.

Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?’

Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.

I’ve always thought of it as a children’s nursery rhyme.  And by the Victorian era onwards it was, so I was sort of right.  But it was actually born as a ‘broadside ballad’. Broadsides were really common in England during the 16th and 17th Centuries and were cheap, widely affordable one-sided prints, providing popular news, illustrations, rhymes, or in this case, ballads to the masses.

Ballads are part of Britain’s traditional musical heritage, with broadsheet ballads often showing a much bawdier side of British humour and behaviour than some might expect.  Favourite subjects varied, but often included love, sex, drinking, and legends.  No different from today really, if you replace the word ‘legends’ for ‘celebrities’!

The other name for ‘Lavender’s Blue’ is ‘The Kind Country Lovers’.  Although there are many different versions, with nearly thirty verses in existence in one combination or another, the crux of the original version was a celebration of drinking and some lyrical persuasion to get a girl to go for a ‘roll in the hay’. So to speak!

So, a catchy, melodic little ditty with a more interesting history than the innocent sing-song nursery rhyme version it eventually morphed into might have you believe.   More than that, as I sit here bursting into occasional song as I type (I did say I thought it was catchy!), the lavender references are a lovely reminder.  Recent summer memories of sitting with a cold glass of something delicious in the late evening sun in my mum’s garden, watching the bees drowsily buzzing around the lavender.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

purple perfume-power perfection!

purple perfume-power perfection!

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9 thoughts on “One word photo challenge: Lavender.

    1. jennylratcliffe Post author

      Thanks Jennifer. I’m constantly amazed by all the interesting new things I learn from all the blogs out there, so it’s quite nice to think I’ve maybe passed on a little something too! 🙂

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  1. CadyLuck Leedy

    Hi there! Thanks for stopping by and looking at my blog! If you have any suggestions, requests or travel questions just let me know! I’m on my way over to your blog to see what you are up to! CadyLuckLeedy PS Loved this lavender post and I have not heard that ditty for quite a long time!

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    1. jennylratcliffe Post author

      Hi CadyLuck Leedy, thank you! Yes, it’s a real old one isn’t it, so not as popular these days. But I quite like the old fashioned ones myself. Your blog is an absolute treasure trove; just keep doing what you are doing!

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  2. Pingback: One Word Photo Challenge: Cream | Jennifer Nichole Wells

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