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Green Grow The Rushes

DigiTrad:
CHILDREN, GO WHERE I SEND THEE
GREEN GROW THE RASHES, O
GREEN GROW THE RASHES, O (2)
GREEN GROW THE RUSHES
GREEN GROW THE RUSHES (COMMENTARY):
RED FLY THE BANNERS, O


Related threads:
Question on Green Grow the Rashes (32)
Lyr Req: Acres of Ground (Eliza Carthy) (9)
(origins) Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes (47)
Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes - pagan version (28)
Chord Req: Green Grow the Rashes O (16)
Lyr Add: The Twelve Apostles (11)
(origins) Children Go Where I Send Thee - who are they? (47)
(origins) Origins: Children Go Where I Send Thee (15)
(origins) Origins: I Will Sing Thee (11)
Green Grow The Rushes Oh, discrepancy (2) (closed)
Dougi Maclean's 'rashes' (9)
Green Grow the Rashes/Rushes-pre-Burns? (7)
Lyr Req: The Dilly Song (10)
Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes (30)
req only: Green Grow the Rushes-o (3) (closed)
req only: Green Grow The Rashes-o (3) (closed)
req only:Green grow the rushes, O (7) (closed)


Suibhan Crawford 21 Mar 97 - 11:05 AM
dick greenhaus 21 Mar 97 - 12:00 PM
Bo Vandenberg 04 Apr 97 - 01:10 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Apr 97 - 11:21 AM
c.boisvert@open.ac.uk 07 Apr 97 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,bizchaplain 19 Nov 04 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,Roydosan 02 Sep 05 - 05:33 AM
Mr Happy 30 Apr 07 - 10:48 AM
Amos 30 Apr 07 - 11:30 AM
Mr Happy 30 Apr 07 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 30 Apr 07 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Chicken Charlie 30 Apr 07 - 02:21 PM
Jack Blandiver 07 Dec 07 - 04:40 AM
Jack Blandiver 07 Dec 07 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Lighter 07 Dec 07 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Minerva 22 Dec 07 - 04:46 PM
Nerd 22 Dec 07 - 07:47 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Dec 07 - 08:09 PM
Bonzo3legs 23 Dec 07 - 03:54 PM
Nick E 23 Dec 07 - 07:18 PM
Fliss 23 Dec 07 - 07:32 PM
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Subject: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Suibhan Crawford
Date: 21 Mar 97 - 11:05 AM

I found the lyrics to Green Grow The Rushes, a song I remember fondly from summer camp. I'm happy to see the commentary, as when I was growing up in the sixties, we were discouraged from asking questions about the meaning of the song. Naturally, this made us curiouser and curiouser (it had to be BAD, right?). Anyway, my question - Children Go Where I Send Thee is listed as an alternate title, however I remember this as a completely separate song. Does anyone know the words? Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Mar 97 - 12:00 PM

Children, go where I send thee How shall I send thee I'm gonna send thee one by one One for the little bitty baby That was born, born, born in Bethlehem

I'll check out the counting rhymes


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Bo Vandenberg
Date: 04 Apr 97 - 01:10 PM

I found this at one stage:

GREEN GROW THE RUSHES HO (COMMENTARY) This file summarizes postings to the Internet whenever this song has re-surfaced for discussion.

*****

TITLES:

Alternate Titles: - Children Go Where I Send Thee - I'll Sing You One Oh - The Carol Of The Twelve Numbers - The Twelve Apostles - The Dilly Song

Green Grow The Rashes-o: - Often confused because of the title - A different song by Robert Burns

Green Grow the Lilacs: - Often confused because of the title - American troops sang it during the Mexican-American war (circa 1848) - Supposedly the Mexicans transliterated "Green Grow" to "Grin-go" - From Sing Out! Reprints (1959-1964), page 342 - Other sources say "gringo" comes from "griego" (greek) - It was used for any untelligible speech ("It's all greek to me")

*****

EXPLANATIONS:

ONE IS ONE AND ALL ALONE: - God, or Jesus Christ

TWO, TWO, THE LILY-WHITE BOYS (BABES): - Alt: Two are the Christmas babes in green - God and Jesus - Or: Jesus Christ and John the Baptist - Or: James and John, who didn't deny Christ - Or: the constellation Gemini (the twins) (a sign of spring?)

THREE, THREE, THE RIVALS: - The Trinity (God, Jesus, The Holy Ghost) - This explanation does not explain the term "rivals" - Or: Peter, James, and John - They argued about who would be the greatest in Heaven - Alt: Three are the three that's in Bethlehem (Jesus, Mary, Joseph)

FOUR FOR THE GOSPEL MAKERS: - The four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) - Alt: Four, the carolers at your door (Christmas)

FIVE FOR THE SYMBOLS AT YOUR DOOR: - The five books of Moses - Or: a pentagram, a common motif on doorposts (why?) - Or: The Greek symbols spelling "Icthys" - The fish was a code symbol for early Christians - Alt: Five for the oxen standing by (Christmas)

SIX FOR THE SIX PROUD WALKERS: - "Walkers" may be a corruption of "waters" - The six water-pots used in the miracle of Cana - Where Jesus changed water into wine at a wedding - Alt: The Charming Waiters - Alt: The six that never did mix (?)

SEVEN FOR THE SEVEN STARS IN THE SKY: - The seven stars in the constellation Ursa Major (The Big Dipper) - Or: the seven visible stars in the constellation Pleiades

EIGHT FOR THE APRIL RAINERS: - The constellation Hyades (eight stars) - Also called "The Rainy Hyades" - Rise heliacally with the sun in the month of Arpil - Or: Gabriel and the Archangels

NINE FOR THE NINE BRIGHT SHINERS: - The Muses (does not fit with biblical or astronomical theme) - Suggests another constellation (The Pleiades?)

TEN FOR THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: - Obvious - Rumor says that Moses actually had fifteen commandments - But he dropped one of the stone tablets on the way down the mountain

ELEVEN FOR THE ELEVEN WHO WENT TO HEAVEN" - The eleven apostles minus Judas

TWELVE FOR THE TWELVE APOSTLES: - Obvious

*****

REFERENCES:

English Country Songs: - Editor: Lucy Broadwood - Leadenhall Press, London, 1893

One Hundred English Folk Songs: - Editor: Cecil Sharp - New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 1975 - ISBN: 0-486-23192-5 - From: wald@theory.lcs.mit.edu (David Wald), 18 Dec 1994 - Also mentioned by Holly Tannen (see: Sing Out)

Sing Out Magazine (39-4, page 105): - From: htannen@mcn.org (Holly Tannen), 4 Jan 1996 It has been collected in the southern mountains, the north atlantic states, Ohio, Michigan, and in Canada. These versions trace back to Cornwall and the west country of England, where it was popular as a Christmas carol and as a harvest song.

Journal of American Folklore: - V.62 #246, Oct-Dec 1949 (Leah Yoffie) - Songs of the Twelve Numbers and the Hebrew Chant of Echod Mi Yodea The song was well known in many sections of Europe as early as the sixteenth century, when it first appeared as an addition to the German Jewish Passover Haggadah, and may have existed as a Jewish folk song some time before it was printed. A Latin version from a 1630 manuscript lists two testaments, three Patriarchs, four evangelists, five books of Moses, six vessels (of Cana) etc.


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Apr 97 - 11:21 AM

Forgot to mention- Go Where I Send Thee is in the database


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: c.boisvert@open.ac.uk
Date: 07 Apr 97 - 01:52 PM

What about celtic (or other pre-christian) stuff?

2 in green = fairies?

3 = rivalry triangle...

5 = the pentagram used to be carved on window & doorposts, to ward off evil (Jewish/Christian superstition). Jews associated the pentagram to the pentateuch.

6 proud walkers = I heard of a place called like that in wales, from 6 standing stones there.

I heard there is an older version, which has much fewer Christian references. I've actually seen one, but I think it's an invention. Still our modern version could be a "clean" version of an older "heretic" song.

Charles


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: GUEST,bizchaplain
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 12:00 AM

If you will allow me to share my own experience concerning the origins and ties to the song, I offer this.

The "lily white boys" may refer to James and John, the Zebedee kids. They or their mother asked for that special favor of being seated on either side of Jesus in his kingdom. "Clothed all in green" may refer to jealousy or envy, though I am not aware of the length of time that green has been associated with either of these emotions.

Possibly the three rivals could refer to James, Peter, and John.

Concerning the association of all twelve numbers to various cultic, druidic, or other pre-Christian traditions, these may be valid as well and not exclusively to the Christian ties. Much of Christian tradition is tied to those of other world religions. How could we have Saturday without Saturn, for example? :-)

It appears that "Children Go Where I Send Thee" has been adequately dealt with, and that no further need exists to differentiate the two songs. I hope, however, that a commentary on this song exists somewhere to resolve the apparent conflict between the plural noun (children) and the singular pronoun (thee). Perhaps a comma should NOT follow children, and that "go" is declarative rather than imperative. The song is too pretty to analyze and pick apart this way. It may be saying "Children are going where I send you" rather than "Children, you must go where I send all of you."

Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: GUEST,Roydosan
Date: 02 Sep 05 - 05:33 AM

Rivals meant equals in old English


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 10:48 AM

Here's the version me & chums regularly sing.

Its very similar to other versions except the chorus line 'Green grow the rushes-oh' is sung again after the line 'What is your ...-oh?' & the line for 'lily white boys' is sung 'dressed up all in green, ho-ho!'


Green grow the rushes- oh


I쳌fll sing you one-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your one-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you two-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your two-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you three-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your three-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you four-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your four-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you five-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your five-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so
I쳌fll sing you six-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your six-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Six for the six proud walkers
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you seven-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your seven-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Seven쳌fs for the seven stars in the sky
And six for the six proud walkers
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you eight-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your eight-oh?
Eight쳌fs for the April rainers
Seven쳌fs for the seven stars in the sky
And six for the six proud walkers
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so
I쳌fll sing you nine-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your nine-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Nine쳌fs for the nine bright shiners
And eight쳌fs for the April rainers
Seven쳌fs for the seven stars in the sky
And six for the six proud walkers
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you ten-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your ten-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Ten쳌fs for the ten commandments
Nine쳌fs for the nine bright shiners
And eight쳌fs for the April rainers
Seven쳌fs for the seven stars in the sky
And six for the six proud walkers
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you eleven-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What쳌fs your eleven-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Eleven쳌fs for those who went to heaven
And ten쳌fs for the ten commandments
Nine쳌fs for the nine bright shiners
And eight쳌fs for the April rainers
Seven쳌fs for the seven stars in the sky
And six for the six proud walkers
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

I쳌fll sing you twelve-oh
Green grow the rushes- oh
What is your twelve-oh?
Green grow the rushes- oh
Twelve쳌fs for the twelve apostles
Eleven쳌fs for those who went to heaven
And ten쳌fs for the ten commandments
Nine쳌fs for the nine bright shiners
And eight쳌fs for the April rainers
Seven쳌fs for the seven stars in the sky
And six for the six proud walkers
Five쳌fs for the symbols at your door
And four쳌fs for the gospel makers
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two the lily-white boys
Dressed up all in green, ho-ho
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so


***********


Some other possible explanations of terms are here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_grow_the_rushes,_O

here:

http://musicanet.org/robokopp/english/greengro.htm


Three, three arrivals - Probably the three Magi

3 rivals (of God) -- See Revelations again. The rivals are the beast whose number is 666.

& here:

http://www.camponaway.org/pages/voices/campfire_rock.htm#song7green



Two, two the little white boys clothed all in green-o


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 11:30 AM

"Children Go, I Will Send Thee", it should be mentioned, is not the same song as "Green Grow..." although they are both counting songs in the Christian tradition.

As far as I know, the "three, three" line in "Green Grow..." has always cited "the rivals", and not "arrivals". "The rivals may refer to the rival promulgators of early Christian belief inthe time of Paul's wanderings, who insisted on circumcision, thus ruining Tomothy's day. Or it may refer to some other rivals, I don't know.


One citation from Vanderbilt U offers:

"In this positive weakness lies Paul's conflict with his sophistic rivals, whose hubristic manner of leadership has de facto imported another Jesus, spirit, and gospel into the church. The discourse begins forcefully with appeal to believers and the threat of divine war against the rivals (10.1–6). It calls the Corinthians to examine the evidence regarding the criticisms, which it rebuts with three claims (10.7–11). A first section of rhetorical proof (10.12–11.21a) supports those claims and proves why Paul cannot compare his ministry with the rivals, through an ongoing synkrisis that rehearses Paul's history with the Corinthians and contrasts his ministry against the rivals' activities."
A


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 11:34 AM

' thus ruining Tomothy's day'

Who's 'Tomothy'?


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 11:37 AM


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 30 Apr 07 - 02:21 PM

For more on the Celtic possibilities, see Robert Graves, "The White Goddess." He says the druids used MANY symbols for alphabets in code, including trees. The two lily-white boys cloth-ed all in green-ooh are supposed to be the letters D and T, which bacause of their similar sounds are represented by two kinds of oaks. And I always thought the three just referred to a love triangle: two's company, three's a crowd sort of thing. None of my professors ever heartily endorsed "The White Goddess," but it was a fun read anyway.

Chicken Charlie


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 04:40 AM

One idea is that Three The Rivals are the three traditions of Abrahamic Spirituality - Judaism, Islam & Christianity.

But what's this I hear about the song being the origin of the word 'Gringo'?


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 12:50 PM

In answer to my own question:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gringo


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 04:29 PM

The thoroughly discredited story connecting "gringo" with "green grow" is still endorsed even by some Mexicans. My friend's Spanish teacher, from Mexico City, assured him the song responsible was "Green Grow the Lilacs."

He, in turn, was unshakably confident that she was right, because she spoke Spanish. And was a knockout. I couldn't refute that argument.


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: GUEST,Minerva
Date: 22 Dec 07 - 04:46 PM

Why do you all assume this song has anything to do with christianity? lets face it, you are struggling to put a christian veneer on what is clearly a song that has very non christian roots. What it mean i suspect is lost to us


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Nerd
Date: 22 Dec 07 - 07:47 PM

No one is trying to put a veneer on the song; if it is only a veneer, it came to us with the song!

I think the lines

Four, the Gospel Makers

Ten, the ten commandments

twelve the twelve apostles

are pretty irrefutably Christian (or at least Judeo-Christian). Given those lines, there's no easy way to avoid believing that the song has something to do with Christianity.

None of the other lines refers equally clearly to anything that is "non-Christian," astrology having been part of Christian folk belief for ages.

I'm all for finding pagan roots within folksongs--but most often those pagan roots come into the songs THROUGH Christianity, not in spite of it. Modern Christianity's roots are as firmly in Celtic and Germanic paganism as they are in Judaism, so we'd expect pagan elements in Christian songs. Like, for example, singing a song of praise to a tree (O Tannenbaum).


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Dec 07 - 08:09 PM

Just to avoid confusion, we're talking about (at lwast)two very different songs. "Green Grow the Rushes" and "Green Grow the Lilacs(or Laurels)" have nothing to do with each other, except for the forst three words of each. I should mention that neither has anything to do with the Scots "Green Grow the Rashes-O"


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 23 Dec 07 - 03:54 PM

It's just a boy scout song, who cares what it means. I remember sitting round the camp fire wearing a blanket and singing all manner of songs that the PC brigade would be up in arms about - and more's the pity!


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Nick E
Date: 23 Dec 07 - 07:18 PM

I saw Atlan a few years ago and they sang a song they called Green Grow The Rushes Oh, I do not remember it being a counting song at all, and I was sober.
Great Big Sea has a version on their lates CD tThe HArd and the Easy that is...
http://www.lyricstime.com/great-big-sea-come-and-i-will-sing-you-the-twelve-apostles-lyrics.html


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Subject: RE: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Fliss
Date: 23 Dec 07 - 07:32 PM

Its all Catholic symbolism from the time they were persecuted in England. It links in with 'The 12 days of Christmas' which has similar symbolism.

Five for the symbols at your door- safe houses would have 5 rings or studs on the door. ie 5 gold rings,

Look up 12 days of christmas, there is more about it there.

fliss


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