Red Roses for a Blue Lady
|"Red Roses for a Blue Lady"|
|Single by Bert Kaempfert|
"Red Roses for a Blue Lady" is a 1948 popular song by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett (alias Roy Brodsky). It has been recorded by a number of performers. The best-selling recording was made by Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra Vocalists: Vaughn Monroe and The Moon Men on December 15, 1948. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3319 (in USA) and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalogue numbers BD 1247, HN 3014, HQ 3071, IM 13425 and GY 478. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on January 14, 1949 and lasted 19 weeks on the chart, peaking at #4.
Another recording was made by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians on December 22, 1948. It was released by Decca Records as catalog number 24549. The record first reached the Billboard magazine charts on February 4, 1949 and lasted 13 weeks on the chart, peaking at #10.
The song was revived in 1965 by vocalists Vic Dana and Wayne Newton and instrumentalist Bert Kaempfert; Dana's version was the most successful, peaking at #10 on the pop chart and #2 on the Easy Listening chart. Kaempfert's peaked at #11 on the same chart. Wayne Newton's version reached #23. All were listed on Billboard's Easy listening (later Adult Contemporary) survey. Andy Williams released a version in 1965 as the B-side to his hit song "...and Roses and Roses".
Bruno Balz has written German lyrics. The German title is "Ich sende dir Rosen". The Cornel Trio recorded it in Berlin on October 15, 1952. The song was released by Electrola as catalog number EG 7848.
The song is sung in the voice of a man speaking to a florist. He is purchasing flowers to give to a woman with whom he has been romantically involved (although the possibility of any sexual contact is left ambiguous). However, this man and his lover have apparently had a quarrel.
Roses, especially red roses, are associated with passion, and men have often been known to give bouquets of a dozen or more of these to women whose favor they wish to curry, and in this case it appears that the man hopes that the gift of several red roses will help resolve the quarrel he has had with the woman. The woman is never mentioned by name, but instead is referred to as a "blue lady." "Blue lady" in this case is not actually referring to color at all (as in "blue baby"); instead it is playing on the fact that the word "blue" is often used as a euphemism for "sad," as in "I've got the Blues." However, by juxtaposing the "red" of the flowers with the "blue" of the lady's mood, the author has created a pun of sorts, playing up the common opposition of "red" and "blue" as they are both primary colors.
The singer twice refers to the lady as "the sweetest gal in town," although this is probably hyperbolic and in any case is un-provable. He also speculates that the "pretty flowers" (referring to the red roses) will "chase her blues away," but this statement must be understood metaphorically since flowers have no independent means of locomotion.
In the last verse the singer continues to play with the color/flower theme by telling the florist that if the red roses succeed in resolving his conflict with the lady, he might possibly return to make a second purchase. In this case the flower would be "a white orchid for her wedding gown." This is the first mention in the song of any impending nuptials for the lady; one must either assume that she is already engaged to a third party (in which case the singer would be quite the chump) or, more likely, that he is speculating that he may soon propose marriage to her, and that she will accept. However, given the fact that she is still ticked off at him this would appear to be a presumptuous assumption indeed.
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 70.
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