> June Tabor > Songs > June Tabor: Two Little Girls in Blue

Two Little Girls in Blue

[ Roud 2793 ; Ballad Index FSC106 ; Mudcat 4472 ; Charles Graham, 1893]

Cyril Poacher sang the Music Hall song Two Little Girls in Blue to Ginette Dunn at home on Grove Farm, Blaxhall, on 26 June 1975. This recording was included in 1999 on his Musical Traditions anthology Plenty of Thyme. Rod Stradling cited Cyril Poacher:

I learned that off a blind man called Ally Storey—he used to live in an old hut, a farm … and he used to sell cotton, soap, garden seeds … all little things like that … he sang it in the pubs, where he used to come to sell his seeds … I heard him in the Farnham George and in the Ship, that’s where I heard it off him, he sung it a couple of times down there and couple of times up there—I sung it meself after that.

and noted:

An American song which was regularly included in 20th century collections in America, but ignored by British collectors—presumably because at the time they were active it was too recent. This song was written by Charles Graham in 1893, and was sung in English Music Halls by Lily Burnand. The chorus at least is still well-known to the older generation. The tune is a blatant copy of the smash hit After The Ball by Charles K Harris.

The 2020 Musical Traditions anthology Wait Till the Clouds Roll By contains Cyril Poacher’s recording too, plus a historic 1931 recording from Bradley Kincaid of Chicago.

June Tabor sang Two Little Girls in Blue in 1976 on the dance band Flowers and Frolics’ Free Reed album, Bees on Horseback. This track was also included in 2002 on Free Reed’s 3 CD anthology This Label is Not Removable.


June Tabor sings Two Little Girls in Blue

An old man gazed at a photograph in a locket he’d worn for years,
His nephew then asked him the reason why this locket had caused him tears,
“Come listen,” he said, “and I’ll tell you, lad, a story that’s strange but true:
Your father and I at the school one day met two little girls in blue.”

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
“Two little girls in blue, lad, two little girls in blue.
They were sisters, we were brothers, and learned to love them true.
One little girl in blue, lad, stole your father’s heart,
Became your mother, I married the other, and now we are ripped apart.”

“The years rolled on and these girls grew up, one became my wife.
I thought her unfaithful; we quarrelled, lad, and parted that night for life.
My fancy of jealousy wronged a heart, a heart that was brave and true,
For two better girls never lived than they, those two girls in blue.”