Blue Velvet Band (II)
DESCRIPTION: Singer leaves home and his sweetheart, the girl in the blue velvet band. Five years later he still dreams of her every night. He returns home and "the old colored people" tell him she has died and been buried wearing his ring and the blue velvet band.
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast)
KEYWORDS: love ring separation death
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Spaeth-WeepSomeMoreMyLady, pp. 148-150, "The Girl in the Blue Velvet Band" (1 text)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 51, "Blue Velvet Band" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES [282 words]: Hank Snow recorded this as "The Blue Velvet Band" in Montreal in 1937 on RCA LMP/LSP 6014 (source: Country Music Sources by Guthrie T Meade Jr, p. 40). You can see the lyrics on the Hank Snow site. In Snow's lyrics he hears the news when he reaches "the old country depot" rather than from "the old colored people." The cut is available on a number of CDs now including "Hank Snow -- I'm Movin On" on Prism Entertainment 928.
It's not clear to me whether the singer dreams of Blue Velvet Band every night for five years or one night after five years. That is, it may be that her appearance in his dream is what makes him decide to go home. Hank Snow apparently thought it was her appearance in the dream that was critical. In the lyrics Snow wrote to "The New Blue Velvet Band" the singer accuses Blue Velvet Band of "loving some man" and leaves her on "a tanker for Holland"; he dreams of her and is called on deck by the captain who tells him "This message just flashed o'er the wireless And your darlin' is dying tonight"; he goes back and knows she has died when he hears "the bell in the old country steeple." Source: sing365.com site - BS
The fullest forms of "The Girl in the Blue Velvet Band" (as in Spaeth) are a combination of the "Black Velvet Band" plot (girl causes guy to end up in prison) and the above "Blue Velvet Band" plot (he misses the dead girl). This great invertebrate mass was too long to be recorded on a 78, and Creighton declares that they are not to be confused. I (tentatively) disagree. I suspect that this version of the song is a "Blue Velvet Band" variant chopped down by someone to fit in three minutes. For more details, see "The Black Velvet Band (I)." - RBW
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