Sweet Violets

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"Sweet Violets" is a 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)[1] and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10115. 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 risque.


Preceded by
Because of You
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record

September 1, 1951
Succeeded by
Come on-a My House

Copyright 1951 by Edwin H. Morris & Company, Inc. by Cy Coben and Charles Grean