Sweet Blooming Lavender

DESCRIPTION: Street cry: "Won't you buy my sweet blooming lavender? There are sixteen blue branches a penny, all in full bloom." The singer tells how the plant is fresh, and how it will benefit the wearer
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: c.1880 (Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs)
KEYWORDS: nonballad commerce
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, p. 105, "(Will you buy my sweet lavender?)"; Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, p. 105, "(Sixteen bunches a penny)" (2 texts, 4 tunes)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 356, "Sweet Blooming Lavender" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; notes to #153, ("Or the Streete cryes all about") (1 fragment of this, plus an assortment of other street cries)

Roud #854
Bill Ellson, "Will You Buy My Sweet Blooming Lavender?" (on Voice11)
cf. "Lavender Girl" (theme)
NOTES [137 words]: Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland notes that his informant, Florrie Penfold, knew several street cries but preferred this because it is "more of a song." Which indeed it is, and so is included.
Kennedy lists a number of collected versions of this piece. I doubt that all are actually the same song, but they are doubtless all lavender street calls.
In addition to its color and scent, lavender is reputed to be a sleep aid and perhaps an antidepressant; according to Ruth Binney, Nature's Way: lore, legend, fact and fiction, David and Charles, 2006, p. 117, "Lavender (Lavendula) is another soothing herb, described as 'a comfort to the brain' by the 16th-century herbalist William Turner."
Lavender supposedly acquired its scent because the Virgin Mary hung the baby Jesus's clothing on it to dry (Binney, p. 123). - RBW
Last updated in version 2.7
File: K356

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