A question about a song played in Lady Bird's honor

@ElicBxn (61132)
United States
July 12, 2007 11:54pm CST
There is a song that they were playing to acknowlege Lady Bird Johnson's death on the radio this morning, "The Yellow Rose of Texas." The lyrics of this song, and the first version played was probably the orginal ones. I was listening, because I don't think I've ever heard the whole song before. One of the lines is "The only rose of color for me." Now, back in the times when this song was writen, persons of mixed race, at least 1/8th or 1/12th black that showed color, were often called "High Yellows." I'm going to guess because they really didn't have a name for that light coffee color skin. It got me wondering if the song wasn't orginally writen to such a woman? Then, would that make a "Red Rose" an Amerind? and a "White Rose" an anglo? There is a history of an indentured mulatto servant name Emily that was the "Yellow Rose" and, of couse, a mulatto would be considered a "High Yellow." Just thought I'd throw that out. Of couse, Lady Bird Johnson is well known for her work getting wild flowers planted all over the U.S. and especially in Texas, so the guy was playing lots of flower songs & that one was both flowers and Texas.
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3 responses
@gberlin (3836)
13 Jul 07
Interesting discussion. I did not know about the name "High Yellow" for persons of mixed race. I learn something new every day. Who knows if the song was originally intended for a woman of mixed race but it is an interesting thought.
@ElicBxn (61132)
• United States
13 Jul 07
Well, I did do a little research and found out about Emily, and how she was considered "The Yellow Rose of Texas." I guessed that it was from the song tho, sung about a woman of mixed race - I wonder if anyone else picks it up from the lyrics? I learned the term in a short story, but from a writer I know & respect for doing research.
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
13 Jul 07
I find your discussion interesting, ElicBxn, as I have long been familiar with the song but not it's history. Anyway, it will give me something to research. I love doing research. As to Mrs. Johnson, she lived a good, long life, didn't she?
@ElicBxn (61132)
• United States
13 Jul 07
Yes she did. 94 long, well lived, useful, years. She was the "grand dame" of Austin for these last 40 years and her loss will be felt.
• United States
14 Jul 07
Thanks for the info about "Yellow Rose". I did not know about that. For all the controversy about LBJ's rise to power and his presidency, Lady Bird was and remains one of America's most beloved First Ladies. Her work for the environment, and later more specifically US wild flowers, was very effective in summoning support for those causes.
1 person likes this