Friday, April 29, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "Y" for YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS

 
The letter "Y". We're almost there. I have a song for you today. "The Yellow Rose of Texas" is a traditional  American folk song. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. Several versions of the song have been recorded, including by  Elvis Presley and Mitch Miller. 
 
 
The earliest known version is found in Christy's Plantation Melodies. No. 2, a songbook published in Philadelphia in 1853. Christy was the founder of the blackface minstrel show known as the Christy's Minstrels. Like most minstrel songs, the lyrics are written in a cross between the dialect historically spoken by African-Americans and standard American English. The song is written from the perspective of an African-American singer who refers to himself as a "darkey" longing to return to "a yellow girl," a term used to describe a bi-racial woman born of African-American and white progenitors.

The soundtrack to the TV miniseries,  James A. Michener's Texas, dates a version of the song to June 2, 1933 and co-credits both the authorship and performance to Gene Autry and Jimmy Long. Mitch Miller mad a reworked version of the song into a popular recording in 1955 that knocked Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" from the top of the Best Sellers chart in the U.S. Miller's version was featured in the motion picture Giant and reached #1 on the U.S. pop chart the same week Giant star James Dean died. Billboard ranked Miller's version as the No. 3 song of 1955.


This song became popular among Confederate soldiers in the Texas Brigade during the American Civil War; upon taking command of the Army of Tennessee in July 1864, General John Bell Hood introduced it as a marching song. The final verse and chorus were slightly altered by the remains of Hood's force after their crushing defeat at the Battle of Nashville that December.

(This is changed some from the original)
From the 1955 Mitch Miller rendition, the song now reads:
    There's a yellow rose in Texas, That I am going to see,
    Nobody else could miss her, Not half as much as me.
    She cried so when I left her It like to broke my heart,
    And if I ever find her, We nevermore will part.
    [Chorus]
    She's the sweetest little rosebud That Texas ever knew,
    Her eyes are bright as diamonds, They sparkle like the dew;
    You may talk about your Clementine, And sing of Rosalee,
    But the YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS Is the only girl for me.
    When the Rio Grande is flowing, The starry skies are bright,
    She walks along the river In the quiet summer night:
    I know that she remembers, When we parted long ago,
    I promise to return again, And not to leave her so. [Chorus]
    Oh now I'm going to find her, For my heart is full of woe,
    And we'll sing the songs together, That we sung so long ago
    We'll play the banjo gaily, And we'll sing the songs of yore,
    And the Yellow Rose of Texas Shall be mine forevermore. [Chorus]

    Song from the University of Texas at Austin

    Happy Singing.

12 comments:

  1. I had no idea Elvis sang a version of that song! I'm not sure where I heard it...maybe in a movie? It's one of those songs I recognize but I have no idea from where!

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    1. I didn't know he did either, Stephanie. He sang so many thought. Yes, the information said it was featured in the movie Giant. That may be where you heard it.

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  2. A good flow and songs sure come up out of the blue and have that much more meaning too.

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    1. I've heard the song, Pat, but really paid little attention to the words. An interesting story behind this tune.

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  3. How well I remember that son Beverly.
    Enjoy your week-end.
    Yvonne.

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    1. It's a lovely song, Yvonne. So many of the older songs are, I think. Better than a lot of the new ones. My opinion.

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  4. J here, of the #atozchallenge Arlee Bird's A to Z Ambassador Team.
    Have you enjoyed the challenge? Did you hop to other blogs? The end of the alphabet here! Reflections sign up is May 9-- mark a calendar.
    My blog's giveaway is still going. I'm encouraging everyone to visit more stops.
    http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com
    Interesting. Good to know where a song comes from.

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    1. Hi, J Lenni. Yes, the challenge was fun. I didn't hop to as many blogs as I'd hoped. Will try to visit some the next few days. My calendar is marked. Checking your blog now. Thanks for stopping by.

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