Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)

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"Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair)" is a popular song. The music was written by Evelyn Danzig and the lyrics by Jack Segal.

"Scarlet Ribbons" was written in only 15 minutes in 1949 at Danzig's home in Port Washington, New York after she invited lyricist Segal to hear her music.[1] Recordings of the song by Juanita Hall and Dinah Shore made no great impression but in 1952 Harry Belafonte, at his third session for RCA Records, covered the song with an arrangement using only his guitarist Millard Thomas[2] and male vocal group. After continually good responses in concert the four-year-old recording finally became a success in 1956[3] after it appeared on his second album which, after Belafonte's next album Calypso became the first million-selling album, reached #1 on Billboard's album chart for six weeks and stayed on the chart for over a year. The song reached the top twenty in the UK Singles Chart in late 1957 even though released between the successful "Island in the Sun" and "Mary's Boy Child" when the former was still high in the charts and the latter overhauled it to become one of the best-selling singles in the UK.[4][5] The most successful version in the USA, by The Browns, reached #13 in December 1959. "Scarlet Ribbons" has become a standard with many recorded versions and has appeared on several Christmas albums.

The song tells a miraculous tale: a father hears his little girl pray before she goes to bed for "scarlet ribbons for her hair". It is late, no stores are open in their town, nor is there anywhere the father can obtain the ribbons so he is distraught throughout the night. At dawn he again peeps in and is amazed to see beautiful "scarlet ribbons" in "gay profusion lying there." He says that if he lives to be a hundred, he will never know from where the ribbons came.[citation needed]

Recorded versions include[edit]


  1. ^ Oliver, Myrna (2005-02-18). "Jack Segal, 86; song lyricist - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  2. ^ "Persons in alphabetical order T". Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  3. ^ Dick Vosburgh (1996-08-08). "Obituary:Evelyn Danzig - People - News". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  4. ^ "Official Charts Artist: Harry Belafonte". Retrieved 2015-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Definitive UK Charts 1952-59 in Research Links Forum". Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  6. ^ "Cliff Richard's Chart History in New Zealand". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-03-29.