Lavender (Marillion song)

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"Lavender"
Single by Marillion
from the album Misplaced Childhood
B-side "Freaks"
Released 27 August 1985 (UK)
Format Vinyl record (7" and 12")
Recorded Hansa Ton Studios, Berlin, March–May 1985
Length 3:40 (7")
Label EMI
Writer(s) Fish, Mark Kelly, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas, Ian Mosley
Producer(s) Chris Kimsey for Wonderknob Ltd
Marillion singles chronology
"Kayleigh"
(1984)
"Lavender"
(1985)
"Heart of Lothian"
(1985)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Lavender" is neo-progressive rock band Marillion's second single from their breakthrough album Misplaced Childhood. The follow-up to the big UK number 2 hit "Kayleigh", the song was their second Top 5 UK hit, entering the chart on 7 September 1985, reaching number 5 and staying on the chart for 9 weeks.[1] None of the group's subsequent songs have reached the Top 5 and "Lavender" remains their second highest-charting song.

The song received considerable media exposure in the UK, with 37 out of 43 Independent Local Radio stations A-rating the song on their playlists and becoming the 8th most played single on BBC Radio 1, gaining 16 plays in a day.[citation needed]

The song features a number of verses that are reminiscent of the folk song "Lavender Blue". The song forms part of the concept of the Misplaced Childhood album. Like "Kayleigh" it is a love song, but whereas "Kayleigh" was about the failure of an adult relationship, "Lavender" recalls the innocence of childhood:

The childhood theme also brought up the idea of utilising an old children's song and "Lavender" was an obvious contender as one of the original pop songs of its time. [2]
Going through parks listening to Joni Mitchell, "Lavender" is the little boy's dream about you can walk through the park and bump into the lady of your dreams that you're going to fall instantaneously in love with.[3]

The opening lines "I was walking in the park dreaming of a spark, when I heard the sprinklers whisper, shimmer in the haze of summer lawns" deliberately recall the title track of Joni Mitchell's The Hissing of Summer Lawns.

Unusually for a pop song from the mid-1980s, "Lavender" features a traditional grand piano rather than an electronic keyboard or electric piano. In the music video, keyboardist Mark Kelly is clearly seen playing a C. Bechstein Pianofortefabrik but the original sleeve notes of the Misplaced Childhood album state that a Bosendorfer was used for the recording.

On the concept album Misplaced Childhood "Lavender" is a short track of barely two and a half minutes, forming part of a longer suite that continues into the likewise multi-portioned track "Bitter Suite", which repeats Lavender's musical motive at the end. In order to be suitable for a single release, the track therefore needed to be re-arranged and extended. As a result, the 7" version is significantly longer than the album version (3:40 as opposed to 2:27), whereas the 12" version – entitled "Lavender Blue" – is 4:18.

The song was used in both series of the BBC sitcom Nighty Night.

As with all Marillion albums and singles of the Fish period, the cover art was created by Mark Wilkinson.

A CD replica of the single was also part of a collectors box-set released in July 2000 which contained Marillion's first twelve singles and was re-issued as a 3 CD set in 2009 (see The Singles '82–'88).

Track listing[edit]

7" Single[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "Lavender " — 3:40

Side B[edit]

  1. "Freaks" — 4:04

12" Single[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "Lavender Blue" — 4:04

Side B[edit]

  1. "Freaks" — 4:04
  2. "Lavender " — 3:40

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Roberts British Hit Singles and Albums, Guinness World Records Limited
  2. ^ "Misplaced Childhood Sleeve Notes". 
  3. ^ "Marillion: Misplaced Childhood". www.dprp.net. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 

External links[edit]