Lilac Wine is a song with words & music by James Shelton (Lilac Wine, 1950) - introduced by Hope Foye ("Lilac Wine", in the short-lived theatre musical revue, "Dance Me a Song"). It was covered by: Eartha Kitt (Lilac Wine, 1953), Helen Merrill (Lilac Wine, on "Helen Merrill with Strings", 1955), Judy Henske ("Lilac Wine", on her eponymous début LP, 1963), Nina Simone ("Lilac Wine", on "Wild Is the Wind", 1966), Elkie Brooks (Lilac Wine, on "Pearls", 1978 - to date, the biggest hit rendition & the song remains closely associated with her, especially in the UK), Jeff Buckley (Lilac Wine, on his "Grace" début, 1994 - used, least once, as background music in the French film "Tell No One"), Sarah Slean ("Lilac Wine", live, 1997), Katie Melua ("Lilac Wine", on her "Call Off the Search" début, 2003), The Cinematic Orchestra ("Lilac Wine", on 50 Years of Dr. Martens, 2010) & Lizz Wright ("Lilac Wine", aka "Lilac Wine (Live in Warsaw)", 2010 - in tribute to Nina Simone).
The lyrics form a narrative, in which experiences with the lilac tree are recounted - lilac wine made from it, & a loved one. It evokes his feelings of love, loss, pleasure & confusion - in the lyrics - that are, arguably, subject to broad interpretation.
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