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Lavender's Blue - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

I've always loved this Lavender's Blue, a song which hails from seventeenth century England.  Often sung as a nursery rhyme, as with so many folk songs, the lyrics are a moveable feast.  I just sing the verses that I particularly like (and / or can remember), which I suspect is exactly how folk songs grow and develop.  You can find a full version of the words here.  The song is possibly best known to modern audiences in the version by Burl Ives.

As for the Lavender's Blue chords - they are simple: the first, fourth and fifth chords in any key.  I sing it using C, F and G shapes with a capo at the second fret, which puts the song in the key of D.  I make the chords a little more interesting by playing F2 rather than a plain F shape.  To do this, just take your finger off of the A that you get by fretting the G string at the second fret - this lets the G ring open, which gives you an F2 chord instead of a regular F.

Chords

Capo at 2nd Fret

C
Lavender's blue, dilly dilly,
       
F2

Lavender's green;

C
When I am King, dilly dilly,

G7                 C
You shall be Queen.




C
Who told you so, dilly dilly,
       
F2

Who told you so?

C
'Twas my own heart, dilly dilly,

G7                  C
That told me so




C
Call up your men, dilly, dilly
       
F2

Set them to work,

C
Some to the plough, dilly dilly,

G7                 C
Some to the fork,




C
Some to the hay, dilly dilly,
       
F2

Some to thresh corn,

C
Whilst you and I, dilly dilly,

G7                      C
Keep ourselves warm.




C
Lavender's green, dilly dilly,
       
F2

Lavender's blue;

C
If you love me, dilly, dilly,

G7               C
I shall love you.

Lyrics

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

Call up your men, 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 green, dilly dilly,
Lavender's blue;
If you love me, dilly, dilly,
I shall love you.

Other Nursery Rhymes and Children's Songs