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 United States) 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". Harry James recorded a version in 1965 on his album Harry James Plays Green Onions & Other Great Hits (Dot DLP 3634 and DLP 25634).
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.
Interpretation of lyrical content
The song is sung from the viewpoint of a man speaking to a florist. He is purchasing flowers to give to the woman he loves. However, this romantically-minded gentleman and his sweetheart have apparently had a tiff.
Roses, especially red roses, are associated with romance, and men have often been known to give bouquets of a dozen or more of these to women whose hearts they wish to win over, 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 his sweetheart. 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 narrator refers to his sweetheart as the sweetest gal in town and hopes that this floral gift will brighten up her mood and soften up her current attitude toward him.
In the last verse, this fellow tells the florist that if the rose bouquet helps smooth things over with his sweetheart, he will go back to the florist's shop to purchase an orchid corsage for the lady's wedding gown, thus stating he plans to propose to her once their differences are set aside.
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 70.