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Lyr Req: 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:
Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes - pagan version (28)
Lyr Req: Acres of Ground (Eliza Carthy) (8)
Chord Req: Green Grow the Rashes O (16)
Lyr Add: The Twelve Apostles (11)
Question on Green Grow the Rashes (28)
(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)
(origins) Green Grow The Rushes (21)
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)


akhdubon@prodigy.com 08 Dec 97 - 10:39 PM
Jen 08 Dec 97 - 11:04 PM
Martin Ryan 09 Dec 97 - 03:54 AM
E Pluribus Klinem 09 Dec 97 - 07:50 AM
Dick Wisan 09 Dec 97 - 11:35 PM
judy 10 Dec 97 - 01:11 AM
Bruce O. 10 Dec 97 - 11:51 AM
judy 10 Dec 97 - 09:52 PM
Bruce O. 11 Dec 97 - 11:49 AM
judy 11 Dec 97 - 03:53 PM
toadfrog 26 May 01 - 07:03 PM
okthen 26 May 01 - 07:52 PM
toadfrog 26 May 01 - 07:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 May 01 - 08:04 PM
Pinetop Slim 27 May 01 - 09:41 AM
Pinetop Slim 27 May 01 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,SOme one 10 Oct 02 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 10 Oct 02 - 11:01 PM
MikeOQuinn 11 Oct 02 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Snoozer at Work 11 Oct 02 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,adavis@truman.edu 11 Oct 02 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 11 Oct 02 - 12:54 PM
GUEST 11 Oct 02 - 01:59 PM
GUEST 11 Oct 02 - 04:30 PM
IanC 14 Oct 02 - 04:09 AM
GUEST 14 Oct 02 - 12:15 PM
IanC 14 Oct 02 - 12:29 PM
GUEST 14 Oct 02 - 01:44 PM
Penny S. 14 Oct 02 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,marian 19 Oct 02 - 09:25 PM
masato sakurai 19 Oct 02 - 10:48 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Oct 02 - 11:00 PM
GUEST 20 Oct 02 - 12:37 AM
Robin 20 Oct 02 - 01:33 AM
Joe Offer 27 Oct 02 - 12:31 PM
Penny S. 27 Oct 02 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,marie 18 Nov 03 - 05:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Nov 03 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,guest 23 Oct 04 - 12:02 PM
Nigel Parsons 23 Oct 04 - 12:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Oct 04 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Bill the sound 09 Jan 08 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Barbara H 05 Jun 08 - 12:18 PM
peregrina 05 Jun 08 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 05 Jun 08 - 05:49 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Jun 08 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,David W 15 Sep 18 - 02:56 AM
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Subject: Green Grow the Rushes
From: akhdubon@prodigy.com
Date: 08 Dec 97 - 10:39 PM

I am hoping to find the words to and a recording of "Green Grow the Rushes," the one that begins, "I'll sing you one, O." Any help would be very much apprecaited. Alice


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GROW THE RUSHES, HO!
From: Jen
Date: 08 Dec 97 - 11:04 PM

This is from the Fireside Book of Folk Songs, copyright 1947

GREEN GROW THE RUSHES, HO!

I'll sing you one-ho!
Green Grow the rushes-ho
What is your one-ho?
One is one and all alone
and ever more shall be so

I'll sing you two-ho!
Green grow the rushes-ho
What are your two-ho?
Two,two the lily white boys,
Clothed all in green-ho.
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so.

I'll sing you three-ho!
Green grow the rushes-ho.
What are your three-ho?
Three, three the rivals,
two, two the lily white boys,
Clothed all in green-ho!
One, one is all alone
And ever more shall be so.

I'll sing you four-ho!
Green grow the rushes-ho.
What are your four-ho?
Four for the Gospel makers,
Three, three the rivals,
Two, two the lily white boys,
clothed all in green-ho!
one is one and all alone
and ever more shall be so.

(I hope you get the drift of the song now, it will take me all night to type this otherwise)

Five for the symbols at your door(to 4)
Six for the six proud walkers(to 5)
Seven for the seven stars in the sky(to 6)
Eight for the April rainers (to 7)
Nine for the nine bright shiners,(to 8)
Ten for the ten commandments,(to 9)
Eleven for the eleven went up to heav'n,(to 10)
Twelve for the twelve apostles, (to 11)

I'm sure someone recorded it, but I have never heard this version. Maybe someone else can help.

Jennifer

PS: The book also says "One of the few cumulative songs with religious content. it appears in an earlier version under the title of "The twelve Prophets" and again as "The Carol of the Twelve Numbers"


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 09 Dec 97 - 03:54 AM

Several versions in the DT - and a thread of its own some time ago?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: E Pluribus Klinem
Date: 09 Dec 97 - 07:50 AM

PBS radio did a Christmas special some time ago called "Noel Sing We Clear" that featured this song. I believe there is recording out there with the same name as the show...


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Dick Wisan
Date: 09 Dec 97 - 11:35 PM

Jen,

Your version, which you have never heard, is exactly what we sang at summer camp along about 1943-1945. I heard it quite a lot, because we sang it every day. At dinner.


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: judy
Date: 10 Dec 97 - 01:11 AM

Here's one I remember from a children's record on (I believe) The People's Record label. It told of a little child who got lost and sang this song. Throughout the record s/he sang the refrain until finally found.

I'll sing you one, oh
Every day we grow I O

What is your one, oh?

Refrain:
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

Two, two for two pretty eyes
Looking at the wide world, oh

Three, three for daddy, mommy, and me

Four's for the wheels on automobiles

Five for the fingers on each hand

Last refrain:
One is one and NOT alone
And NEVER more shall be, oh

It also had "Misty, Moisty Was the Morn" with a tune I've never heard since. Fireside Children's Songs states "This is the first stanza of a 17th century ballad entitled

"The Wiltshire Wedding Between Daniel Do Well and Doll the Dairy Maid With the Consent of Her Father, Leather Coat and Her Dear and Tender Mother Plodwell"

(BTW I have 9 of the 15 verses of the aforementioned, and definately not to be typed again, ballad) I see my notation mentions that Steeleye Span must have done this too.

Misty, moisty was the morn
Chilly was the weather
There I met an old man
Dressed all in leather
Dressed all in leather with cap under his chin
With a how-do-you-do?
And a how-do-you-do?
And a how-do-you-do again?
With a how-do-you-do?
And a how-do-you-do?
And a how-do-you-do again?

and another short little ditty:

Oh, my father owns a butcher shop,
My mother cuts the meat
And I'm the little Hot Dog
That runs around the street

judy


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Bruce O.
Date: 10 Dec 97 - 11:51 AM

"The Wiltshire Wedding" is of 1685-8. It is ZN73 in my broadside index. The ballad is reprinted in vol. IV of 'The Pepys Ballads' and in Ashton's 'A Century of Ballads'.


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: judy
Date: 10 Dec 97 - 09:52 PM

Bruce, I have just got to know (if this is not too personal): What do you do in your "other" life? Are you in ethno-musicologist? If not, it's your calling. I'm impressed. I'm sure you've seen the folk ballad index.

judy


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Dec 97 - 11:49 AM

Judy, I am strictly an amateur historian of old songs (in English)who started out by listening to folk songs in the late 50's. I didn't know then that it's a disease that is incurable.


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: judy
Date: 11 Dec 97 - 03:53 PM

Bruce, I'm even more impressed. Oh, think of all the wonderful things we could do if we could only devote ourselves to our amateur (ama=love) passions. Some day after you're long gone someone will discover your information, and perhaps lionize you as a great folklorist. I have small part of the collection of a folksinger from Germany named Joseph Gregor who I met at a hootnanny in a German Youth Hostel in Paris in the 70s. He went around Europe and taught people songs in their houses and in hostels. People had stacks 3-4 feet high of music he'd taught them. I wonder if any of you know of him? judy


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: toadfrog
Date: 26 May 01 - 07:03 PM

I had vaguely theorized that the reference to "white boys, clothed and all in green" was somehow an Irisn revolutionary thing. Am I all wet? I believe there were "white boys" in Ireland.

Does anyone know words to this version, which I heard sometime in the sixties, on the ferry from Dover to Callais?

I'll sing you one ho.
Red fly the banners, ho!
What is your one ho?


One is workers' unity.

Two, two, the worker's hands working for a living, oh!

Three, three, the rights of man.

Four for the four Red Armies

And after that, I can recall no more. Not too terrible a loss, I guess, but out of curiosity, can anyone else remember more?


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: okthen
Date: 26 May 01 - 07:52 PM

This sounds like something that would be sung on Aldermarston marches.

along with

"We'll make lady docker sweep the steps of transport house x 3 when the red revolution rolls along"

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: toadfrog
Date: 26 May 01 - 07:52 PM

This is interesting. I looked in Bodelian for the Wiltshire Wedding, and found, The Wiltshire Wedding between Daniel Do-well and Dolly the Milk-maid In Douce Ballads, beginning

All in a misty Morning, cloudy was the Weather.
I met with and old Man, was clothed all in Leather.
With a Shirt unto his Back, but Wool unto his Skin
With how do you do, and how do you do,
And how do you do agen?

The words are sufficiently different, so that it seems like this might be a different song. Maybe there is more than one Wiltshire Wedding? Or is this the folk process at work?

Bodelian also has a Green Grow the Rushes about a young woman going off to war with her lover, disguised as a man (old familiar theme).

Finally, Bodelian has the other Green Grows the Rushes, by Robert Burns. I had forgotten what a magnificent powm and song that was. But still, it is different.

--- Links fixed. ---


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 May 01 - 08:04 PM

You might like to have a look at this entry in the DT:  :Green Grow the Rushes (Commentary)

Although versions may perhaps have been found in Ireland (along with many other countries, by no means all English-speaking) it is not an Irish song, and a "rebel" explanation for "lily-white boys" is a non-starter.  There have been a number of past discussions besides this one,which can be found in the usual way, and a composite set of the "Red Banners" parody is in the DT, here:

Red Fly the Banners, O

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 27 May 01 - 09:41 AM

"Come Let Us Sing," from a songster by the same name published by the Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C., (1974)to be a cousin. Notes say it was recorded by Marie Marvel (Appalachian social worker from 1930s onward; collected many). I'm close to certain I've heard Jean Ritchie sing it.
Come, let us sing. What shall we sing? I'll sing you one. What'll be your one? One, one,_ left a-lone lone to be a lone. Come let us sing. What shall we sing? I'll sing you two. What'll be your two? Two, two,_ the lost babe, my dar-ling crea-_ ture. One, one,_ left a-lone, Lone to be a-lone. Three of them were dr-vers_ four the gos-pel_ preachers Five for the fer-ry-man on his boat.
Six, the noble waiters (to 5)
Seven for the seven stars in the north (to 6)
Eight for Gabriel angel (to 7)
Nine for the moonlight shining bright (to 8)
Ten for the ten commandments (to 9)
'Leven for the good men gone to heaven (to 10)
Twelve, the twelve apostles (to 11).


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 27 May 01 - 09:53 AM

Oops. For the record, "Come Let Us Sing," was published by the Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, Ky., 1974.


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,SOme one
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 10:46 PM

what does rushes mean?


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 10 Oct 02 - 11:01 PM

If no one's mentioned it yet, this was a popular song among American troops during the Mexican war. The Mexicans called the singing troops "Green-Grows," later "gringos." So the story goes. Apocryphal, I suppose. Anybody who knows?


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: MikeOQuinn
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 06:12 AM

I thought the one that led to that term was "Green Grow the Lilacs," a different song with some lyrics in common.

-J


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Subject: RE: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,Snoozer at Work
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 07:31 AM

RE: "gringo" coming from the song "Green grow..."

A popular misconception.
I'm not sure the song was even around at the time of Mexican War (I have that info on my computer at home)

From the Dictionary, the etymology for gringo is:
Spanish: foreign, foreign language, gibberish, probably alteration of griego, Greek, from Latin Graecus.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,adavis@truman.edu
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 12:12 PM

I'll stand corrected about "lilacs" vs. "rushes." Seems to me likely there's some chain of influence between the songs, if for no other reason than the striking coincidence of unusual phrase. I'd suspect common origin in some lost ancestor (the usual dodge for textual stemmatologists). About the derivation of the term "gringo," well, I have no personal investment in the point, but I also have enough experience with the making of dictionaries (especially etymological ones) to be as suspicious of the "griego" derivation as of the "green grow." The appearance of the thing in print has wonderful authenticating power. But without some documentary evidence, we have nothing to go on but plausibility, and I guess each of us makes our own determination on that one. A similar process yielded the term "goddams" for the habitually blasphemous English troops opposing Joan of Arc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 12:54 PM

Rushes are plants which grow by water, grasslike in appearance, but bigger.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 01:59 PM

A long thread on Gringos. The first use was in 18th century Spanish writings. Nothing to do with "green grow." Also used in Latin America before the Mexican War.
See thread 46273: Gringos

The term was applied to soldiers from Spain in Mexico, late 18-early 19 century. See especially posts by Dicho, 09 Apr 02, and by Escamillo.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 04:30 PM

Mention of lilacs brought to mind a version I tried to find. The version was "Green Grow the Lilacs on the Oregon Trail." Unlikely, for the lilac was not American, but this was sung in in the Rocky Mt. area at least. If anyone remembers it, please post.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: IanC
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 04:09 AM

Rushes aren't that grass-like.

"Sedges have edges, Rushes are round".

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 12:15 PM

Right, Ian. A little high school botany- they belong to separate families of monocotyledonous plants. Rushes to the Juncaceae (stems often hollow), grasses to Poaceae.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: IanC
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 12:29 PM

Oho!

In the case of this song, of course, the rushes may well be bullrushes. Something of a misnomer because the bullrush is, in fact, a reedmace. Not a rush at all but a variety of sedge (though again, I'd say it was recognisably different from grass.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 01:44 PM

Bul(l)rush is a puzzlement. The name has been applied to a variety of plants, including cattails or reedmace (Typha) as well as sedges (Scirpus) and rushes. Of course, in the Irish 17th century song, it was the laurel, no relation to any of these.
Wasn't a pharoah or some baby found in the bulrushes?
We will never know which plant it was.

Changing the subject to a question I have asked before, there is a modern song version copyright by Fred Brooks; "Green Grow the Lilacs," obviously a remake of the traditional song. According to Contemplator, it was sung by Texas cowboys, and was based on the 17th century Scottish "Green Grows the Laurel" which gets us back to "Green Grow the Rushes." (See previous thread, 46273, clickie above)
Still looking for the version that changes "red, white and blue," etc., to "Oregon Trail." My grandfather said he sang it (Colorado) when he was young (1880s-1890s). Don't remember his words, my memory got too oldt too soon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 03:23 PM

OK, caught out being over simple away from a flower book. The growth habit is a bit grassy, though - tussocky.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,marian
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 09:25 PM

Strange how things go around, I was looking up the words to this folksong which I remembered singing at various "Appalachian Sings" at Berea College in KY during the late 1970's. This one I could remember in part along with "Salty Dog Rag" which we danced to and "The devil's nine questions which I will look up next. THanks--Marian


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Subject: Lyr Add: GREEN GROWS THE RASHES (Merry Muses)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 10:48 PM

The version in the DT [GREEN GROW THE RASHES, O (2)], which is from Robert Burns, The Merry Muses of Caledonia (edited by Barke and Smith), is not the one in The Merry Muses of Caledonia.

GREEN GROWS THE RASHES

Green grow the rashes, O,
Green grow the rashes, O,
The lassies they hae wimble-bores,
The widows they hae gashes, O.

O wat ye ought o' fisher Meg,
And how she trow'd the webster, O,
She loot me see her carrot c--t,
And sell'd it for a labster, O.
 Green, &c.

Mistress Mary cow'd her thing,
Because she wad be gentle, O,
And span the fleece upon a rock,
To waft a Highland mantle, O.
 Green, &c.

An' heard ye o' the coat o' arms
The Lyon brought our lady, O,
The crest was, couchant; sable c--t,
The motto, "ready, ready," O.
 Green, &c.

An' ken ye Leezie Lundie, O,
The godly Leezie Lundie, O,
She m--s like reek thro' a' the week,
But finger f---s on Sunday, O.
 Green, &c.

(From facsimile edition of The Merry Muses of Caledonia (1799), University of South Carolina Press for the Thomas Cooper Library, 1999, pp. 28-29; text only)

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 11:00 PM

Just as you say. The DT text isn't from MMC at all. It's the set that Burns put together in 1786, according to Kinsley; though the DT seems to have some typos.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 12:37 AM

The text in the DT as "Green Grow the Rashes, O' is the version in my generic Robert Burns (A. L. Burt, surely copied from someone else's printing). A few little differences; I wonder how they appear in a reliable version.
Cho. The sweetest hour that e'er I spend (not spent)
Verse 1. An' 'twere na (not not)
Verse 2. Warly, not warldly. (Warly throughout, including glossary)
Verse 4. For you sae douce, ye sneer at this; lov'd, not lo'ed.
Of no importance. I should get a better Burns.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Robin
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 01:33 AM

The readings that GUEST (20 Oct) gives are the ones in the standard edition of Burns (Kinsley).

Kinsley dates this version 1784-1785.It's titled "Green grow the Rashes. A Fragment".

Kinsley also prints from 1786 a less-respectable "A Fragment". The chorus -- "Green grow etc." -- is identical to the Merry Muses version, but the three stanzas are different.

Burns (leave aside the ambiguity of how much the songs are his, and how much doctored versions of songs he collected)often did both respectable and less-respectable versions, but I'm not sure what the authority of the Merry Muses texts is -- I'd be a bit wary.

But Burns' song is totally independent of "Green grow the rushes [sic], O"

There are [at least] 6 related British versions of this (one from Scotland!) written down in the nineteenth century. The one which has the two lily white boys all dressed in green comes from Dorset.

The next related song is "The Dilly Song" which begins similarly, but begins to diverge at verse 4:

Four it is the Dilly hour
When blooms the Gilly flower
Five it is the Dilly bird
That's seldom seen but heard

The American versions usually begin "Come and I will sing to you" -- linked to "Green grow the rushes, O" but not identical.

Some of this (and a lot more, including various guesses at who the lily white boys were) is in GREEN GROW THE RUSHES (COMMENTARY), but some isn't.

Robin


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Subject: Origins: Green Grow The Rushes
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 12:31 PM

Here's the entry in the Traditional Ballad Index.
-Joe Offer-

Green Grow the Rushes-O (The Twelve Apostles, Come and I Will Sing You)

DESCRIPTION: Cumulative song with religious themes e.g., "I'll sing you three-o/Green grow the rushes-o/What is your three-o/Three for the Hebrew children/Two, two, the lily-white babes/clothed all in green-o/One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1823 (Sandys, _Christmas Carols--Ancient and Modern_)
KEYWORDS: ritual cumulative religious nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England,Scotland),US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (28 citations):
SharpAp 207, "The Ten Commandments" (5 texts, 3 tunes)
Sharp-100E 97, "The Ten Commandments" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 605, "The Twelve Apostles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 425-429, "The Twelve Apostles" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 605)
BrownII 50, "The Dilly Song" (2 texts; the first starts with the number 5!)
BrownSchinhanIV 50, "The Dilly Song" (2 excerpts, 2 tunes)
JHCoxIIB, #17, pp. 159-162, "The Twelve Apostles" (1 text, 1 tune, somewhat conjectural)
Roberts, #37, "The Twelve Apostles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 83-85, "The Twelve Apostles" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Gardner/Chickering 150, "The Twelve Apostles" (1 text)
Fuson, p. 187, "Scripture in the Nursery" (1 text)
Hubbard, #193, "The Ten Commandments" (1 text)
Peters, pp. 61-62, "Come and I Will Sing You" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams/Foss, pp. 74-75, "I'll Sing You One Ho!" (1 text, 1 tune)
Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 154-155, "The Twelve Apostles"; Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 156-159, "Green Grow the Rushes, Oh!" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Palmer-ECS, #146, "One, O" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 88, "Dus Ha My A Gan Dhys (Come and I Will Sing You)" (1 Cornish text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 41, "The Twelve Apostles" (2 texts)
Peacock, pp. 800-801, "The Twelve Apostles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-Newfoundland 89, "The Twelve Apostles" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lehr/Best 23, "Come and I Will Sing You" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fireside, p. 116, "Green Grow the Rushes, Ho!" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 359, "Green Grow the Rushes" (1 text)
DT, GRNRUSH* (see also GRNRUSH2) GRNRUSH5
ADDITIONAL: Robert Chambers, The Popular Rhymes of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1870 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 44-47, "Song of Numbers"
Enid Porter, _The Folklore of East Anglia_, Batsford, 1974, p. 69, "(no title)" (1 text)
Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928, notes to #258, ("What will be our twelve, boys") (1 text)
Bob Stewart, _Where Is Saint George? Pagan Imagery in English Folksong_, revised edition, Blandford, 1988, pp. 124, "Seven Was the Keys of Heaven" (1 tex)

Roud #133
RECORDINGS:
Patrick Gaffney, "Green Grow the Rushes Oh" (Columbia 350-D, 1925)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Children Go Where I Send Thee" (theme and structure)
cf. "Eleven to Heaven" (theme and structure)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Singing the Ten Commandments
Holy Babe
NOTES [1232 words]: Chambers, p. 47, cites his source as "a large manuscript collection of hitherto unpublished Scottish songs, by Mr P. Buchan." - BS
This is a song cluster extending as far as the Jewish Passover service, but whether it passed from there to folk song or vice versa is hard to say. -PJS (Sharp and Marson connects it with the Hebrew ritual "Counting the Omer/Song of the Kid" ; Newell links it to the Passover chant "Echod Mi Yodea," a connection supported by Cohen; Archer Taylor tried to link it to Sanskrit roots! - RBW)
[Compare also the American piece "Children Go Where I Send Thee." Botkin prints a text of that song] from a 1942 field recording and remarks:
"The present cumulative song is a version of 'The Carol of the Twelve Numbers' (often known as 'The Dilly Song'). There is a good deal of variation in the symbolism of the twelve numbers, and in the present song their significance has often been lost.
"For texts and notes, see 'The Twelve Apostles,' by Phillips Barry, Bulletin of the Folk-Song Society of the Northeast, Number 9 (1935), pp. 3-4; 'Ballads and Songs,' by George Lyman Kittredge, Journal of American Folklore, Volume XXX (July-September, 1917), pp. 335-337; 'The Carol of the Twelve Numbers,' by William Wells Newell, ibid., Volume IV (July-September, 1891), pp. 215-220; and 'The Carol of the Twelve Numbers,' by Leah Rachel Clara Yoffie, Southern Folklore Quarterly, Volume IV (June, 1940), pp. 73-75." - NR
Not to be confused with Burns's "Green Grow the Rashes-O," or with the "Green Grows the Laurel/Lilacs" family.
The Cornish words printed by Kennedy are by Talek and Ylewyth; they are translated from an English version, though Kennedy lists versions in other languages.
Some people consider this to be a variation of "Children Go Where I Send Thee"; since I'm not sure, I split them.
Bob Stewart, Where Is Saint George? Pagan Imagery in English Folksong, revised edition, Blandford, 1988, p. 74, claims that "The 'Dilly Song' is surely the best known and most popular of all true folksongs." As with most Stewart comments, he offers neither data no description of just what he was drinking when he came up with this idea. Probably he is another who lumps it with a wide variety of other songs. The version he prints, from the Barton Hill Mummers' Play (Bristol), appears rather untypical of tradition -- although very suitable for the rather strange interpretations he will use.
He suggests that the imagery comes from the Qabalah and ideas of the tree of life. (And Palmer actually finds this convincing.) I will agree only in the sense that, although the sense of the song is religious, many of the references are in no sense Biblical. The following annotated version will demonstrate the point, with observations on Biblical links (where there are any) plus what Stewart thinks each number stands for:
I'll sing you one, O
Green grow the rushes, O
What is your one, O
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so. -- Refers to God or Jesus or both. Clearly it is a reference to the essential unity of God. (Even Stewart, p. 77, agrees with this, which tells you how certain it is -- although he makes a great deal more out of a basic Hebrew formula than the evidence is worth.)
Two, two, lily-white boys, clothed all in green, O -- Non-biblical. Stewart, p. 78, suggests that it links to "The Twa Brothers" [Child 49]! Baring-Gould suggested astrological Gemini twins Castor and Pollux. If we do look for Biblical twins, we have Jacob and Esau, and Judah's sons Perez and Zerah, but the latter pair are not personalities, and there is no hint that the former brothers were ever clothed all in green -- and then never got along.
Three, three, the rivals -- Who knows what this refers to? Not explicitly Biblical. The "three" may be the Trinity. although Stewart denies this; he offers a rather incoherent but Gnostic-sounding explanation
Four for the gospel makers -- Matthew, Mark, Luke John. Stewart, pp. 82-84, goes off on a long discussion of the four beasts associated with the Evangelists (man, eagle, lion, and bull), which he ties into what sound like Gnostic ideas. Here his information is so patently incomplete as to be absurd -- he ignores the use of the symbols in very early Gospel manuscripts, when the sort of heretical ideas he discusses were abhorrent to the Church.
Five for the symbols at your door -- ritual, not Biblical. (Though five could represent the five books of Moses). Stewart, pp. 84-85, connects this with the points of the pentagram, or with the sphere of Mars in the Tree of Life.
Six for the six proud walkers -- Got me (Brown A has "Firemen in the boat." Which doesn't help. Brown B has "ferrymen in the boat," which sounds rather like Charon). Stewart, p. 85, suggests that it is the Saint George whom he claims drowns in his longboat in the "Padstow May Song," whom he in turn links to the murderer in "Edward" [Child 13]. He suggests that the six proud walkers come from "The Joys of Mary."
Seven for the seven stars in the sky -- I'd blame this on J.R.R. Tolkien if it weren't so old. :-) (These would be the Pleiades, important to agricultural peoples as a sign of spring and planting season. - PJS.) Stewart, p. 86 also mentions the Pleiades, but again rings in the Tree of Life as well, and the crown of heaven, and druidic legend.
Eight for the April rainers -- Another ritual oddity (Brown: Eight archangels. Most traditions say there are *seven* archangels, though the Bible doesn't name them all and the Koran gives a different list. The figure eight might be the seven plus an unknown "head of the order")
Nine for the nine bright shiners -- Ditto (Brown: Nine is the night that the star shone bright!). Stewart, np. 87, notes versions which mention pale moonshine, and notes taht Luna, the Moon, was associated with fertility.
Ten for the Ten Commandments -- Ex. 20:2-17; Deut. 5:6-21. Stewart has a reference to the Qabalistic tenth sphere. I could imagine an obscure reference of this sort being corrected to a reference to the Commandments, but Stewart appears to have no actual basis for his tie-in except the number ten.
Eleven for the eleven who went to heaven -- The Twelve Disciples (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 10:14-16; Acts 1:13), less Judas Iscariot. Despite this obvious Biblical reference, Stewart links this to the abyss separating the Qabalistic spheres..
Twelve for the twelve Apostles -- same as the above, with either Judas or Matthias (Acts 1:23-26) added. Stewart, p. 88. rings in the twelve signs of the Zodiac as well.
In the Department of Strange Footnotes, this song helped inspire a minor moment in Lloyd Alexander's well-known "Chronicles of Prydain," although not a very happy one. According to Michael O. Tunnell, THe Prydain Companion: A Reference Guide to Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, 1989 (I use the 2003 Henry Holt hardcover), pp. 211-212, "Alexander discovered the Proud Walkers when reading about a Celtic archaeological find.... 'In rituals and ceremonies... (ancient, barbaric customs) indeed there were people walking around on stilts. I saw the term Proud Walkers, and it suddenly connected in my mind with that old folk songs, "Green Grow the Rushes-o"' (Alexander, 1986b). Alexander goes on to explain that one line of the song speaks of the Proud Walksers. From these sources were born the Proud Walkers in The Book of Three." - RBW
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Penny S.
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 01:59 PM

April Rainers I've seen as a reference to the Hyades, the star cluster which makes up the head of Taurus. They are apparently associated with weeping and rain, and become visible in the evening sky after the Pleiades, which rise ahead of them, so it would make sense for them to follow those stars in the song. Unfortunately, the Pleiades are difficult to see as seven, except by people with very good sight, or children. The Greeks had a myth to explain why the seventh was fainter (she married a mortal). And there are other candidates for the seven stars: the Plough, and the seven wandering celestial bodies, Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Mercury and Saturn. The nine bright shiners might also be astronomical. I've had a look at Orion - seven outstanding stars, but you might count the sword as two more. This constellation would follow the others into the sky, so there would be some logic about it, and it is the most obviously bright constellation in the sky.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,marie
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 05:45 PM

I'm would like to find the rest of the lyrics to the children's version of "Green Grow the Rushes". A previous poster listed the following lyrics for the numbers 1 through 5, but I'm pretty sure the song goes on to ten. Does anyone remember or have access to the rest? Thanks for your help!

The lyrics already posted are:

I'll sing you one, oh
Every day we grow I O

What is your one, oh?

Refrain:
One is one and all alone
And ever more shall be so

Two, two for two pretty eyes
Looking at the wide world, oh

Three, three for daddy, mommy, and me

Four's for the wheels on automobiles

Five for the fingers on each hand


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 08:02 PM

Five was for your smelly sneakers- and I remember outhouse stinkers, cook tent odors, creepy crawlers. We made up new ones with each night howl.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 12:02 PM

i know a song called '12 apostles' taught to me by James Fagan and Nancy Kerr and it is kind of the same going...

a)Come and i will sing you
b)what will you sing me
a)i will sing you one-o (number changing obv.)
b)what is your one-o   (number changing obv.)

one is one and all along and ever more shall be so
two is for the lily white babes covered all in green-o
three of them are strangers
four for the gospel makers
five for the symbol at your door
six for the charming waters
seven for the seven stars in the sky
eight for the eight bold rangers
nine for the nine bright shiners
ten for the ten commandments
eleven maidens all in a dance
twelve for the twelve apostles

then on every even number from four each time a voice going... come sing *hey hey* what will you sing?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 12:30 PM

For some reason, I've always thought of "Eight for the April rainers" as being a biblical reference to Noah, his three sons (Shem, Ham & Japheth) and the four related wives.

Yes/no ?

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 01:21 PM

Thanks for the reminder about "The Twelve Apostles" ("Dilly Song"), Carol of the Twelve Numbers, Green Grow, etc. etc.
I like the eight April rainers and the nine bright shiners. There are versions in the DT and Forum. Many many relatives of this pile-up song, possibly going back to the 16th c.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 05:50 PM

It was in the"Hackney Scout Song Book"
It may not be available now I lost mine years ago.(It would have been an antique by now)












2Hackney


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,Barbara H
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 12:18 PM

I had a children's record when I was growing up, with a story about a little boy who wanders away in the forest and gets lost. He meets various woodland animals who tell him he has to find all the parts of the song in order to find his parents again, and I remember four frogs, some chipmunks and some dachshunds, but that's all. As far as I can remember, the lyrics go like this:

I'll sing you one-O
Every day we grow I-O
What is your one-O?
One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so.
Two's two for two pretty eyes looking at the wide world O.
Three's three for Daddy, Mommy and me.
Four's for the wheels on automobiles.
Five's for the fingers on each hand.

and then I forget the rest.

There were also the following songs:

Oh, my mother runs a butcher shop
My father cuts the meat,
and I'm the little hot dog
who runs around the street.

also:

Misty, moisty was the morn,
chilly was the weather.
There I met an old man
dressed all in leather.
Dress all in leather against the snow and rain,
Saying "How do you do" and "How do you do" and "How do you do" again.
Saying "How do you do" and "How do you do" and "How do you do" again.

and that's all I can remember.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: peregrina
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 12:25 PM

Guest Barbara,
I think that you'll get a better response if you start a new thread that indicates something about the material in the title--this one just looks like 'Green grow the rushes-o.'

Many of these verse are familiar to me as bits of nursery rhymes and childhood songs, but not set into one narrative sequence--was your tape a sort of medley that made them into one story? You could probably identify the separate rhymes and songs, but identifying the whole tape will need someone else who new it, or a discography of children's lit. recordings??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 05:49 PM

This was a staple at Boy Scout summer camp campfires and sing-arounds in the mid-1950's and, I'm sure, much earlier. Years later, I heard a highly modified version in a coffee house. It was, to put it delicately....indelicate. I do not have a copy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Jun 08 - 12:54 AM

GUEST,Barbara H: See ONE MISTY MOISTY MORNING in the Digital Tradition database; also see the discussion in this thread: Lyr Req: Misty, Moisty Morning

If you want to discuss that song, please post your message there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Green Grow the Rushes
From: GUEST,David W
Date: 15 Sep 18 - 02:56 AM

My cousin [ten months younger] had this record when we were little in the 50's. We played/sang it over and over again. The tune/words are stuck deep in my brain so every so often I find myself singing it. I never knew the title or anything else about it. The record was the "lost child version" that goes from "and evermore shall be so" through the song to "and never more shall be so" at the end.
I can't wait to see my cousin to tell her that I solved our mystery.   Thanks to all that contributed to the string.


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