1951 Sweet Violets

Time for another round of Throwback Thursday!

This is where we get to listen to some great music from days gone by. 

Today’s music comes to us from 1951

Wikipedia tells us this about today’s tune:

"Sweet Violets" is an American song that contains classic example of a "censored rhyme", where the expected rhyme of each couplet is replaced with an unexpected word which segues into the next couplet or chorus. For example, the first couplets go:

There once was a farmer who took a young miss

In back of the barn where he gave her a...

Lecture on horses and chickens and eggs

And told her that she had such beautiful...

Manners that suited a girl [etc.]

The chorus is taken nearly verbatim from the song "Sweet Violets" by Joseph Emmet, from his 1882 play Fritz Among the Gypsies:

Sweet violets, sweeter than the roses

Covered all over from head to toe

Covered all over with sweet violets.

The song was recorded by Dinah Shore with Henri René's Orchestra & Chorus in Hollywood on May 20, 1951. The song was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-4174A (78 rpm record), 47-4174A (single) (in USA), by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10115 in the UK, and EA 3997 in Australia, also on the His Master's Voice label. The Dinah Shore version was arranged by Cy Coben and Charles Grean. It reached # 3 on the Billboard magazine charts. It has also been recorded by Mitch Miller and the Gang, Jane Turzy, and Judy Lynn. The song (in all its versions, combined) reached #1 on the Cash Box magazine best-seller chart.

Numerous folk versions exist in which the implied lyrics are more risqué.

See you again soon! Share with me your thoughts about this theme.  If you have a favorite oldies song or artist, let me know and I’d be happy to feature them.



  1. Pretty funny stuff, like the old "Bang Bang Lulu" song.

  2. This one is a new to me. I remember watching the Dinah Shore TV shore as a kid. I heard Dinah lived in Knoxville for awhile, but I can't find any murmurs of it on the Internet. I thought was pretty neat, though. She has Tennessee roots born in McMinnville, southwest of Knoxville and south east of Nashville. She was hostess of ceremonies at the 1982 World's Fair here in Knoxville which I had forgotten about until I read it on Wikipedia. Those were exciting days for our city and for us. She passed away in 1994 three months prior to last child's (DS) birth. 'Sweet Violet' is just a reminder of how innocent and sweet lyrics once were. :)

  3. I love novelty songs. One of my favorites is "Shaving Cream" by Benny Bell.


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