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Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel

DigiTrad:
GREEN GROW THE LAURELS
GREEN GROW THE LILACS


Related threads:
(origins) ?Why Mexicans called them 'Gringos'? (70)
Jeprody - Green Grow the Lilacs - OKi (12)


Rita64 24 May 99 - 01:06 AM
Lonesome EJ 24 May 99 - 01:19 AM
Frank of Toledo 24 May 99 - 01:22 AM
Rita64 24 May 99 - 01:32 AM
Frank of Toledo 24 May 99 - 01:54 AM
JB3 24 May 99 - 02:05 AM
Philippa 24 May 99 - 06:01 AM
Banjer 24 May 99 - 06:14 AM
Philippa 24 May 99 - 09:22 AM
Alice 24 May 99 - 09:25 AM
24 May 99 - 01:11 PM
emily rain 24 May 99 - 04:17 PM
Wolfgang 26 May 99 - 11:14 AM
Alice 26 May 99 - 11:28 AM
Alice 26 May 99 - 02:34 PM
JB3 (inactive) 27 May 99 - 04:05 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 09 Apr 02 - 02:02 PM
Mrrzy 09 Apr 02 - 02:17 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 09 Apr 02 - 04:09 PM
GUEST 09 Apr 02 - 05:56 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 09 Apr 02 - 06:51 PM
MartinRyan 09 Apr 02 - 07:46 PM
Snuffy 09 Apr 02 - 07:49 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 09 Apr 02 - 08:45 PM
radriano 10 Apr 02 - 01:44 PM
Irish sergeant 10 Apr 02 - 03:36 PM
Mrrzy 10 Apr 02 - 04:10 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 02 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Nerd 10 Apr 02 - 04:25 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 02 - 04:39 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 02 - 04:58 PM
MartinRyan 10 Apr 02 - 05:01 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 02 - 05:30 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 02 - 05:47 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Apr 02 - 05:51 PM
rich-joy 11 Apr 02 - 06:11 AM
Irish sergeant 11 Apr 02 - 04:24 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 Apr 02 - 05:52 PM
Big Mick 29 Apr 02 - 10:09 AM
Gillies 08 May 07 - 08:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 May 07 - 10:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 May 07 - 10:15 PM
Irish sergeant 29 Feb 08 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,pinksquink 10 May 10 - 08:33 AM
Steve Gardham 10 May 10 - 09:15 AM
JeffB 15 May 10 - 06:34 PM
Steve Gardham 16 May 10 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Barb Harrison 10 Aug 10 - 06:12 PM
pavane 11 Aug 10 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Brian W Blake 07 Mar 11 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,LARRYM 05 Aug 14 - 04:54 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Aug 14 - 01:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Aug 14 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Airto 06 Mar 16 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Musket 07 Mar 16 - 10:55 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Mar 16 - 03:33 PM
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Subject: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Rita64
Date: 24 May 99 - 01:06 AM

Does anyone know the history of this song? It has been recorded by both Dolores Keane and Anuna. Is the tune known by a different name? I can't find it anywhere but it sounds very much like a tune I have heard before ... can't remember the name either. Argh - isn't that always the way!


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 May 99 - 01:19 AM

Could it be Pretty Polly that you are talking about? It has the line "green grows the laurel and likewise the rue". Go to the search box for digitrad and put in "laurel" or "polly".

LEJ


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 24 May 99 - 01:22 AM

If it is, in any way related to "Green Grow The Rashes, O, it is one of Robert Burns' songs, that was first set down in his "Commonplace Book", in August 1784. The chorus goes like this: Green Grow the rashes, O......... Green Grow the rashes, O...... The sweetest hours that e'er I spend... Are spent amang the lasses, O... Hope i was able to help................


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Rita64
Date: 24 May 99 - 01:32 AM

Sorry Frank, it is quite different to Green Grow the Rushes O. Thanks for trying to help though.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Frank of Toledo
Date: 24 May 99 - 01:54 AM

This is from a 1997 Julie Henigan recording on Waterbug. GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL" Traditional.......A love song learned from a recording of the sublime County Antrim singer Len Graham, who got his version chiefly from Eddie Butcher of Magilligan County Derry. The song, which seems popular among "travellers" in Britain and Ireland, contains allusions to several forms of symbolic flora........


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL (from Betty Smith)
From: JB3
Date: 24 May 99 - 02:05 AM

Betty Smith sings a version:

GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL
^^
Green grows the laurel and fresh falls the dew
Sorry am I since I parted with you
Sorry am I since I parted with you
And we'll change the green laurel for the bonnets so blue

I can love little or I can love long
I can love a new love when the old love is gone
I only said I loved him to give his heart ease
Now his back is to me, I'll love who I please.
Often have I wondered why women love men
And then I've wondered what makes men love them
This is a mystery, but one thing I know
The men they are deceivers, wherever they go

I believe that Betty sings the first verse as a chorus and that there may be more verses I don't remember. Betty is a folk-singer from Georgia, now living in North Carolina, I believe she has recorded for June Appal(sp?)
Isn't this song related to one about the "orange and blue"? I like to sing it when the blue bonnets are blooming along the Texas roads.

Cheers, June


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Philippa
Date: 24 May 99 - 06:01 AM

The words given by June (JB3) look to me to be about the same as what I've heard Len Graham sing. I can't think offhand of other songs that go to the same air that he sings. I correspond with Jule Hennigan, so let me know if you have any questions for her (Julie's starting a British tour so will be busy now)

Can anyone confirm that this was the song that was so popular among English speakers that the Mexicans called them "Gringos"?

'FYM' - If you include a line or two from the songs and/or a summary of the story/the theme of the song you're asking about, it helps pinpoint the particular song. It is useful to mention recording artists, especially if it is important to you to ge informaion on a specific version, but often people will have heard the song from a different source than the one/s you mention.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Banjer
Date: 24 May 99 - 06:14 AM

Fair Youngmaid, If you will go to the little blue box at the very top right of the screen and type in GREEN GROW THE LILACS you will find the object of your search! Also be sure to read the notes following the song and you will understand how yhe folk-process has changed it over the years and from location to location!


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Philippa
Date: 24 May 99 - 09:22 AM

Following Banjer's advice, don't forget to enclose the title/phrase within square brackets. I found three songs encompassing the phrase [green grow the lilacs] and one of them is a Johnny and Molly song from the Sam Henry collection; it may well be the song you sought on another thread!


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL
From: Alice
Date: 24 May 99 - 09:25 AM

If you are looking for the music, I have it from Herbert Hughes, Irish Country Songs, VOL IV. 1936.

These are the lyrics he collected, one of many versions, probably. I believe this version comes from West Kerry, as many of the other songs in Vol IV were referred to as being collected there.

GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL

I once had a sweetheart
But it's now I have none.
And since he has left me
I live all alone.
I live all alone,
And contented I'll be
For he loves another
Far better than me.

chorus
Green grows the laurel
and soft falls the dew,
Sad was the day, love,
I parted from you.
I hope our next meeting
Will prove kind and true.
Don't change the green laurel
For the red, white, and blue.

I wrote him a letter
All crested in red.
He wrote me an answer
And guess what he said.
"Keep your love letters,
And I will keep mine,
Write to your sweetheart,
And I'll write to mine.

chorus

I wonder and wonder
Why women love men.
I wonder and never think
How they love them.
For women are faithful,
And kind as you know,
But men are deceivers
Wherever they go.

chorus
-----

The tune is very similar but not quite the same as the American "Green Grow the Lilacs" (or Laurel). If you are somewhere that I can fax the music to, email to me. acflynn@mcn.net
If not, and you want the music, I will scan it and post it when I have time.

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From:
Date: 24 May 99 - 01:11 PM

Several versions are listed in The Traditional Ballad Index (Mudcat's Links)


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: emily rain
Date: 24 May 99 - 04:17 PM

Here are two more verses from the version I know (most similar to the one Alice posted):

He passed by my window both early and late
The looks that he gave me would make your heart ache
The looks that he gave me ten thousand would kill
But wherever he goes he'll be my love, still

I once was as happy as a red bloomin' rose
Now I'm as pale as the lily that grows
Like a tree in the forest whose growin' is done
Can you see what's become of me by the lovin' of one?


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Wolfgang
Date: 26 May 99 - 11:14 AM

As for the background, I always have thought at least in some versions this song was a lovesong only at the surface but a political song in the deeper sense. Maybe some of the Irish know better, but when I read a line as 'don't change the green laurels for red, white and blue' I think of the colours of the British flag and the Irish Green and I think of the times when 'The Wearing of the Green' could mean death to that person. In these times, such a 'lovesong' could be a safe way to voice protest.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Alice
Date: 26 May 99 - 11:28 AM

I agree, Wolfgang. I also thought of the dual meaning of switching loyalty to red, white, and blue of British OR immigrating to the US red, white, and blue.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Alice
Date: 26 May 99 - 02:34 PM

Here are images of the music as collected by Hughes with his piano accompaniment. The book (volume IV) is out of print, but the introduction is dated 1936. More about it is in my May 24 message, with the lyrics.

Green Grows The Laurel

page one

page two

page three


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: JB3 (inactive)
Date: 27 May 99 - 04:05 AM

I was thinking that the "Orange and Blue" (an earlier version?) had Irish political significance. Anyone know?

June


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 02:02 PM

I have resurrected this thread because Pavane was asking about "Green Grows the Laurel" in another thread (about the word gringo-gringa). Two versions are here.
I am also interested in finding a version (using lilacs) in which the first verse ends "Green grow the lilacs on the Oregon Trail."


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 02:17 PM

That phrase is also in a murder ballad as Green grows the laurel and red grows the rose / And a black bird will follow wherever he goes / Crying sailor O sailor, wherever ye be / The blood flows forever beneath the green tree. It's the last verse.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 04:09 PM

Mrrzy, very much like to see that murder ballad.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 05:56 PM

From Steve Roud's folksong index, the song has been found in England, Scotland, Canada and USA, from the early 20th century, but no earlier broadside text seems to be known.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 06:51 PM

Found a site which claims that "Green Grow the Lilacs" was written during the Civil War by Fred Brooks. No supporting evidence. When did the rushes-rashes-laurels change to lilacs?


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: MartinRyan
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 07:46 PM

Mrzzy's murder ballad is sometimes known as "Miss Brown" - as sung by Frank Harte. Haven't time to trace it in Roud's Index - but will come back to it if necessary.

Regards

p.s. I think its a version of The Cruel Ship's Carpenter?


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 07:49 PM

There's no red white & blue in the English versions I'm familiar with: the last line of the chorus is always "Change the green laurels to lilacs of blue"

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 08:45 PM

Lots of color, Snuffy. Another color line: We'll join the green laurel and the violet so blue (Irish, in the DT, Kennery, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland). Red, white and blue apparently Irish also (see Alice, above). Posting by JB3: change the green laurel for the bonnets so blue (Lupinus- bluebonnets of Texas, etc.? Or the bluebonnet cap once worn in Scotland?). Some of the red, white and blue probably American patriotism showing up. Any more color changes?


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL
From: radriano
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 01:44 PM

Here's a version of "Green Grows the Laurel" that is from Norma Waterson's recording "Bright Shiny Morning."

GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL

Now once I was a schoolgirl all in my pencil and slate
Can't you see what I've come to from staying out late
And it's once I had a collar that is as red as any rose
Ah but now I'm as pale as the lily that grows

And it's green grows the laurel and so cold now blows the dew
And how sorry was I when I parted from you
Just like the rose in the garden when her bloom is all gone
Can't you see what I've come to for loving that man

Now my parents dislikes me they've turned me away from their door
So I told them that I'd ramble like I used to before
And I picked up my baby and I've walked out the door
And I told them that I'd ramble like I used to before

And it's green grows the laurel and so cold now blows the dew
And how sorry was I when I parted from you
Just like the rose in the garden when her bloom is all gone
Can't you see what I've come to for loving that man

So it's me and my baby and contented we will be
And I'll try to forget him like he forgot me
And while there's love on the ocean and there's dry land
While there's breath into my body I will still love that man

And it's green grows the laurel and so cold now blows the dew
And how sorry was I when I parted from you
Just like the rose in the garden when her bloom is all gone
Can't you see what I've come to for loving that man


Norma Waterson's note from the CD insert:
From Queen Caroline Hughes. Of all English Traditional singers I think that Queen Caroline Hughes is my favourite. I first heard of her from Ewan MacColl in the early 1960s after he had recorded her for the radio ballad "The Travelling People" (Topic TSCD 808). Lal, Mike and I had a tape from (I think) Ewan in the early 1960s.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 03:36 PM

The version Delores Keane does was known in the United States during the Mexican War. Folklore had it that this song was the source of the term "Gringo" How true that is is anyones guess. It was sung by Irish soldiers although its possible it was known previous to the war with Mexico. I would be very interested to know if any broadsides from that period are extant. I Know that Samuel Eliot Morrison included the first line or two in his Oxford History of the American People which was published in the mid 1960s. Hope that helps. Kindest regards, neil


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GROWS THE LAUREL
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 04:10 PM

Here you are, I have it by Ed McCurdy:

In Dublin's fair city, in Dublin's fair town,
There lived a young girl by the name of Miss Brown.
She courted a sailor for seven long years,
And from the beginning, he called her his dear.

One morning so early by the break of the day,
He called to her window and to her did say:
"Rise up, bonny Mary, and come you with me.
Such things they will happen; such things you will see."

He took her o'er mountain; he took her o'er dell.
She heard through the morning the sound of a bell.
All over the ocean, all over the sea,
Ye maidens of Dublin, take warning by me.

"O sailor, o sailor, come spare me my life!"
But out of his pocket, he took a penknife.
He stabbed her and ripped her and cut her in three,
Then he buried poor Mary beneath the green tree.

Now green grows the laurel, and red grows the rose,
And a black bird will follow wherever he goes,
Crying, "Sailor, O Sailor, wherever ye be,
The blood flows forever beneath the green tree."

This is close to the bloodiest bloody ballad I know. I like that in a ballad...


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 04:25 PM

The myth dies hard. See Gringo
The word gringo is 18th century, and was widespread before the Mexican-American War.
Green Grows the Laurel is Irish, and present in America, but there are very few concrete indications of its early use. The song was popular during the American Civil War, but American broadsides before that time are not found.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 04:25 PM

Mick Moloney just released a nice version of Green Grows the Laurel on his new album Far From the Shamrock Shore. In the notes he repeats the old Canard about Gringo, which is almost certainly not true.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 04:39 PM

We have a lot of assertions here about the song being known before 1900. Does anyone have any real evidence for this? If so, please cite the evidence, not the assertions. Assertions are free, but they're worthless.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 04:58 PM

This bothers me too. It is known from Ireland and the British Isles, but little evidence of the song in America before the Civil War. It may never have been sung by the troops during the time of the Mexican War. Evidence is largely second-hand even for the 1860 and later period.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 05:01 PM

Mrzzy

Frank Harte's version is very similar to the one you give, apart from the last verse:

Green grows the laurel and red grows the rose
And a raven shall follow, wherever he goes
A cloud shall hang over this murderer's head
No rest shall he find now that Molly is dead

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREEN LAURELS
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 05:30 PM

THE GREEN LAURELS

I oftentimes have wondered how women loved men,
But I ofttimes have wondered how men could love them;
They will love you a little and give your heart ease,
And when your back's on them, they'll love who they please.

Chorus:
Then green grows the laurel and so does the rue;
How sad's been the day I parted from you!
But at our next meeting our love we'll renew;
We'll change the green laurel for the origin blue.

Some will love a short love, and others love long,
Some will love a weak love and others love strong;
Some will love a short love and others love long,
And some will love an old love till the new love comes in.

I wrote my love a letter all bounded in pain;
She wrote me another all bounded the same:
Say, "You may keep your promise and I will keep mine;
We'll change the green laurel for the origin blue."

On the top of yon mountain, where the green grass does grow,
Way down in you valley, where the still waters flow,
I saw my old true love, and she had proved true;
We changed the green laurel for the origin blue.

"origin blue" a mistake for "orange and blue."
Miss Ila Hall, 1917, Virginia. In Cox, John H., Folk Songs of the South, p. 417-418.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 05:47 PM

There are 2 versions in Cox's 'Folk-Songs of the South', but no tune for either.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Apr 02 - 05:51 PM

Tune for the one above should be the old standby.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: rich-joy
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 06:11 AM

smashing version of "Green Grow the Laurels" on Fellside's "Voices in Harmony" compilation CD - by Johnny Collins and friends (including Ms Anni Fentiman) with luverley chorus harmonies - yer can't NOT join in!!!
Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 04:24 PM

As I stated earlier, Morrison used it to highlight his chapter on the Mexican war in his Oxford History of the American People but he does not annotate it. I take it as an indication he thought it was from that era but I don't know. I always thought it was in spite of the myth about the term "gringo". A query, Was the song known in Ireland previous to the Mexican War? If so, it may well have been sung by American soldiers during the Mexican war. Keep in mind at that time the American Army was made up of a large percentage of foriegners. Most of them were Irish or German. But an answer to the lack of broadsides may be found in that the majority of the irish who immigrated worried first about making a living and then about getting their traditional music into print. Kindest regards, Neil


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 05:52 PM

Irish Sergeant, one Belfast printing known. The Bodleian Library has no Green grow(s) laurels or lilacs. A Belfast printing of green grows the rushes 1846-1853. English printings back to 1813-1838.
Very little in Library Congress or Smithsonian with any age to it. A NY printing of Green Grow the Rushes (Scottish dialect in part) from 1860. Historic sheet music has nothing 1850-1920. Green grows the Laurel (lilacs, orange and blue, etc.) is listed at 1908 in the Traditional Ballad Index.
The scarcity of broadsides and sheet music suggests that this song, except in the Scottish version, was not all that widespread, and little known in America. All references suggesting age (other than those cited) are seemingly without support.
With a search, it may be found as a mention in diaries and letters of the time, or in Irish archives, but at present, its popularity during the Mexican, or even the Civil, War, is doubtful.


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Subject: RE: the green laurel / green grows the laurel
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Apr 02 - 10:09 AM

Interesting stuff here. I just heard Pat Broaders of Bohola sing it a week ago. He asserted that it was an Irish song sung by the Irish troops on both sides of the divide during the Mexican War. I hope we can track down its origins. Fascinating stuff.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Gillies
Date: 08 May 07 - 08:05 PM

Hi

would anyon eknow the chords to this song?

cheers


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 May 07 - 10:38 PM

Many claims about the song, but documentation lacking of its presence in America before the Civil War.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 May 07 - 10:15 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 29 Feb 08 - 03:49 PM

I have seen references to it being known in SCotland in the 17th century and finding it's way into ireland. If anyone has seen any documentation I would be very interested. I would like to use this song in a historical novel I'm working on about the Mexican War But obviously, I don't want to if it wasn't known in thattime period. Neil


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: GUEST,pinksquink
Date: 10 May 10 - 08:33 AM

Hi Rita64,

I've just been looking up the lyrics of green grows the laurel and it seems to me that the song is almost the same as 'Once I had a sweetheart'. I know Pentangle have recorded a version of this.I've seen many different versions of the lyrics and various verses but some are used in both of the songs.
Hope this is useful!


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 May 10 - 09:15 AM

I can't believe this thread has gone on over such a long period without anyone adding its history in print going back at least to the 18thc. Someone please tell me this has been done on another thread. If not I will post its history on broadsides here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: JeffB
Date: 15 May 10 - 06:34 PM

Yes please, Steve. I for one would be interested.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 May 10 - 01:26 PM

The earliest manifestations I have give it the title 'Can't you love who(m) you please.' All of the versions I have are in 5 stanzas. If you want to check out a version see Bodleian Broadside Ballads website
Firth b27 (414)
Most of the versions are c1800-1840.
The earliest of the late 18thc is probably Morren of Edinburgh, but Evans of London was printing from about 1780. Pitts of London and Kendrew of York printed it in the early 19thc, and Stephenson of Gateshead (Bodleian copy) a little later, plus Taylor of Birmingham. In the latter half of the 19thc it was still being printed by the likes of Forth of Hull and Fortey of London under the title 'I changed the green willow for the orange and blue'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: GUEST,Barb Harrison
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 06:12 PM

I found this info on the website listed below - loved the great connections to Scottish history.

The song Green Grows the Laurel refers to several periods in Scottish and Ulster-Scottish history. Jacobites might change the green laurel for the bonnets so blue of the exiled Stewart monarchs of Scotland during the Jacobite Rebellions of the late 1600's - early 1700's. Scottish Lowlanders and Ulster Presbyterians would change the green laurel of James II in 1690 for the Orange and Blue of William of Orange, and later on, many of these Ulstermen would immigrate to America, and thus change the green laurel for the red, white and blue
(from:www.tartansauthority.com)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: pavane
Date: 11 Aug 10 - 06:32 AM

But no evidence that any of this is linked to the song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: GUEST,Brian W Blake
Date: 07 Mar 11 - 07:34 PM

I think you are thinking of the song "Green Grow the Lilacs" origenaly "Green Grows the Laurel" an Irish song. The song title is familiar as the source of a dubious popular etymology for the word gringo, supposedly being a Hispanicization of "green grow",which Mexicans certainly could have heard U.S. troops singing during the Mexican-American War.

The cowboys in south Texas loved to sing the song. Across the way, Mexicans, who could not understand the words, could only hear "green grow". So white Americans became known as "Gringo" by the Mexicans.


          Green grow the lilacs, all sparkling with dew
          I'm lonely, my darling, since parting with you;
          But by next meeting I'll hope to provre true
          And change the green lilacs to the Red, White and Blue.

          I once had a sweetheart, but now I have none
          She's gone and she's left me, I care not for one
          Since she's gone and left me, contented I'll be.
          For she loves another one better than me.

(There are other versions)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: GUEST,LARRYM
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 04:54 AM

If the alleged etymology of "Gringo" is true, it may be earliest known Mondegreen. Well, that's not true. The incorporation of Mondegreens must be a major part of the Folk Process, right up there with memory lapses.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 01:04 PM

Gringo has been defined in another thread (too muck work to check back so here is the word again).

Gringo was applied by Spaniards to foreigners, especially French, in the 18th century. Origin of word unknown, but may have first meant "unintelligible gibberish," one of its definitions in Spanish Dictionaries (Diccionario de la lengua Española, Real Academia Española).

Through much of Latin America, the word has been applied to foreigners (extranjeros), especially those speaking English. In Mexico, applied to North Americans. Hablar en gringomeans to speak double Dutch. (Velasquez, Spanish and English Dictionary).
"gringada" is applied to females.

A participant in the Mexican War heard the word "gringos" hurled at them by Mexicans in 1849 (See Oxford English Dictionary.

The "laurel" song does not appear in any American writings before the 1860s, and was apparently unknown to Americans during the Mexican War.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 01:40 PM

See thread 46273, "?Why Mexicans called them gringos?"
The word gringo in print in Spain in the 1780s.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: GUEST,Airto
Date: 06 Mar 16 - 08:54 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3OWOCwvjHU

This is a pared-down version, sung by Sandy Denny at her very best


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 07 Mar 16 - 10:55 AM

Back in the day, Tom and Bertha Brown used to preface the song by mentioning the gringo connection. I took it as urban myth to be fair.....

The tune they used was very different to the one popularised by The Pentangle and used by many before and after. The words were very much a "Norfolk" take on the song and we didn't get much further than Tom claiming to have learnt it at "his mother's knee."

I sing it to their tune but having lost my recording of them years ago, I use a commercial set of words, possibly same as Pentangle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Green Laurel / Green Grows the Laurel
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Mar 16 - 03:33 PM

How does a mondegreen grow?


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