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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Abby Sale Origins: Blood Red Roses (what's it mean?) (143* d) RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses (what's it mean?) 16 Jan 11


Lighter & Guest Gibb,

If Burl Ives recorded "RED red roses" on an album in 1956 and I see it's also in his 1956 book _Sea Songs_ (no month given), it seems he could not easily have gotten it from, learned and published after the June 1956 movie.

Very different verses and style - seems to be a bit in the style of Appalachian game songs. Still, he uses "blood red" in the refrain and that "the ship we're on is a living hell." Hardly bawdy but less safe.

    1. Come sailors listen unto me,
       Come down, you bunch of roses, come down,
       A lovely song I'll sing to thee,
       Oh, you pinks and posies come down, [sic]
       You bunch of roses come down.

Same tune as Lloyd without the "come down" refrain after the second line.

FWIW, Ives claims copyright "because of variation in melody or text" on this and 12 other of the 66 songs printed. There is no other attribution for this song.

OTOH, the January, 1956 foreword by John Huston, director of "Moby Dick," only says that he put the four sea songs, including "Red, Red Roses," in the movie. Not by his own decision, they were already there and sang themselves into the picture.




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