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Little Yellow Roses

[Trevor Peacock]

British pop singer Adam Faith sang Little Yellow Roses in 1962 on his eponymous second LP, Adam Faith. It was penned by Shakespearean actor and songwriter Trevor Peacock (born May 19, 1931), and the arrangement is by John Barry. This version is rendered in a tinkly, staccato polka style, as if played on a Wurlitzer.

The Mudcat Café thread Songs in English about the Spanish Civil War argued that this in a Civil War song for which Peacock would have been a bit too young. Trevor Peacock commented (in a letter cited in this thread):

Around 56 years ago I was involved writing scripts, and then some songs for BBC TV. The pop world was in its infancy, and I wrote for, amongst others, Joe Brown, The Vernon Girls, Jess Conrad, and Adam Faith. I seem to remember writing Little Yellow Roses for a B side for Adam in about 1962. I wrote the tune and the lyrics, and John Barry did that particular arrangement, as I worked with him a lot. I hadn't heard the song for half a century until your letter arrived. I don't remember writing it for the Spanish Civil War specifically—it was a song for all freedom fighters really.

Former Witch of Elswick, Fay Hield learned Little Yellow Roses at the Forest School Camps and sang it in 2010 on her first solo CD, Looking Glass, accompanied by Sam Sweeney on nyckelharpa. Her partner Jon Boden sang Yellow Roses as the July 14, 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

Adam Faith sings Little Yellow RosesFay Hield sings Little Yellow Roses

Laid on my back with the sun in my eyes;
Soon I shall know what no living men know.
All of my life’s been a fight against lies,
Death brings the truth, and it’s my turn to go.

I lay on my back with the sun in my eyes;
Soon I will know what no living man knows.
All of my life’s been a fight against lies,
Death brings the truth, and it’s my turn to know.

Chorus (after each verse):
Send my mother a lock of my hair,
Send my father the watch that he gave me.
Tell my brother to follow me if he dare,
Tell them I’m lost now and no-one can save me.
Remember, remember,
Send my love little yellow roses.

Chorus (after each verse):
Send my mother a lock of my hair,
Send my father the watch that he gave me.
Tell my brother to follow me if he dare,
Tell them I’m lost now and no-one can save me.
Remember, remember,
Send my love little yellow roses.

My father taught me that all men are equal,
Whatever colour, religion or land;
Told me to fight for the things I believed in
That's what I did—with a gun in my hand.

My father taught me that all men were equal,
Whatever colour, religion or land;
Taught me to fight for the things I believed in
This I have done with a gun in my hand.

I met my love in a garden of roses,
She pricked her finger, so sharp the thorn grows.
We made a promise that ‘til death should part us
We’d never look on that wild yellow rose.

I met my love in a garden of roses,
She pricked her finger, how sharp the thorn grows.
We made a promise that ‘til death did part us
We’d never look on that wild yellow rose.