Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Geoffrey Bush

Letter No.: 
18th February, 1953.

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,

Dear Dr Bush

I remember you very well from old days and have heard of you much since.
As regards your query about a Lavender Cry it was sung all over London when I was there about fifty years ago, and I think the version I used in my London Symphony was a modification of one that used to be sung outside my house frequently.
If you look in the Journal of the Folk Song Society, Volume 4, Part 15, Page 97 you will find several versions of the cry.
You say that you cannot find the cry in any old books but you must remember that all traditional music is always in a state of flux and you would not expect to find in Elizabethan times the tune exactly as it is sung now; doubtless there was a version of it.
The opening phrase comes in more than one folk tune, for example the song "Streams of Lovely Nancy" I think in "Songs of the West".
I shall be glad to see you again if one day you are passing through Dorking.
Yrs sincerely

R. Vaughan Williams

Dr Busch


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Typewritten, signed.

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