The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #34787   Message #471364
Posted By: Abby Sale
27-May-01 - 01:56 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Dilly Song
Subject: Lyr Add: THE DILLY SONG
Looking for a good set of words to the actual "Dilly" song. True, it's generally reckoned just a version of "Green Grow the Rushes" (NOT 'Rashes') and there's a tad of info at Commentary and "Green Grow the Rushes". What I'm looking for is a completish non-Gospel-refering version. I have one from Josef Marais who gives sadly little info: "an old Celtic song in the form of a riddle in which numbers repesent some character of religious significance. This song dates back to the Rennaissance." Their tune and rendition is superb! Of course Marais made no bones about his "adaptations" of nearly everything they sang.

My transcription of Marais & Miranda likely has some flaws. The data base example (in the Commentary page) only hints at theirs in the second verse.

(BTW, you're fortunate if you are familiar with the Library of Congress' Negro Religious Songs & Services version Lomax collected about 1940. I believe that's the version that snuck out to the Revival singers - 'Children go and I will send thee...')


THE DILLY SONG
(as sung by Marais & Miranda on Ballads of Long Ago, Columbia LP, c.1957)

Come and I will sing you
What will you sing me?
I will sing you One, oh
What is your One, oh?
One of them is all alone and ever will remain so.
Ever will remain so
(last two lines in counterpoint)
La, la, la, la, la, la, la-la-huh-la

Come and I will sing you
What will you sing me?
I will sing you Two, oh
What is your Two, oh?
Two of them are lily-white babe, and dressed up all in green, O
Dressed up all in green, O
La, etc

Repeat: La, etc

Come and I will sing you
What will you sing me?
I will sing you Three, oh
What is your Three, oh?
Three of them are strangers; o'er the wide world, they are rangers
Wide world they are rangers
La, etc.

Come and I will sing you
What will you sing me?
I will sing you Four, oh
What is your Four, oh?
Four, it is the dilly hour when blooms the gilly flower
When blooms the gilly flower
(no La, etc.)

Come and I will sing you
What will you sing me?
I will sing you Five, oh
What is your Five, oh?
Five, it is the dilly bird that's never seen but heard, oh
That's never seen but heard, oh
La, etc

Come and I will sing you
What will you sing me?
I will sing you Six, oh
What is your Six, oh?
Six, it is the morning brake [?] when all the world's awake, oh.
All the world's awake, oh.