The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)” By Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore evokes images of lavender fields and love as she sings “Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly).” It’s 1948, and the American singer and actress has just released her most popular album, and the title track, “Lavender Blue” would become #1 in Australia. This album also featured her hit, “Laughing On The Outside (Crying On The Inside).” 

Shore is covering the song. It was originally distributed in 17th century England as a broadside, called Diddle Diddle, Or The Kind Country Lovers. Its lyrics praised promiscuity and intoxication.The broadsides instructed it to be sung to the tune of another song, “Lavender Green.” 

However, there are many versions with varying lyrics; from folk songs to nursery rhymes. In 1949, the song was covered by Burl Ives and was featured in Walt Disney’s film, So Dear to My Heart. It was used again in a Disney movie in 2015 for Cinderella.

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