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Green Grow the Rashes/Rushes

[ Roud 2772 ; G/D 7:1297 ; Ballad Index SBoA097 ; Bodleian Roud 2772 ; Robert Burns]

Ewan MacColl sang Green Grow the Rashes, O on his 1959 Folkways album Songs of Robert Burns. Ralph Knight commented in the liner notes:

Burns knew “the merry old tune,” Green Grow the Rashes, O as a bawdy song that had been long current in Scotland. When Jean Armour delivered a set of twins from her first pregnancy, Burns, in an excess of pride and happiness, send a bawdy version of his own to a friend to signalise the event. The chorus, possibly traditional, went:

Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The lasses they hae wimble bores,
The widows they hae gashes, O.

Earlier, Burns had written the masterpiece known to all the world, one of the two songs contributed to the first volume of The Scots Musical Museum [1787].

Jean Redpath sang Green Grow the Rashes, O in 1981 on her album The Songs of Robert Burns Volumes 3 .

Andy M. Stewart sang Green Grow the Rashes O in 1989 on his album Songs of Robert Burns.

The Cast (Mairi Campbell and Dave Francis) sang Green Grow the Rashes in 1993 on their Culburnie album The Winnowing.

Gill Bowman sang Green Grow the Rashes in 1994 on her Greentrax album of love songs of Roberts Burns, Toasting the Lassies.

Rod Paterson sang Green Grow the Rashes on his 1996 Greentrax album of Robert Burns songs, Songs from the Bottom Drawer.

John Morran sang Green Grow the Rashes, O on the 2000 Linn Records anthology The Complete Songs of Robert Burns Volume 8, and Wendy Weatherby sang a bawdy version of it in 2002 on The Complete Songs of Robert Burns Volume 11.

Ed Miller sang Green Grow the Rashes O in 2009 on his album of songs written or collected by Robert Burns, Lyrics of Gold.

Eddi Reader sang Green Grow the Rashes O in 2009 on the second CD of the deluxe edition of her album The Songs of Robert Burns.

Co-cheòl sang Green Grow the Rashes on their eponymous 2014 EP Co-cheòl.

Siobhan Miller sang Green Grow the Rashes, O live at GloWorm Recording for Burns Night 2017, as shown in this video. I also saw her singing it at her gig in the Buchcafé Bad Hersfeld on March 25, 2017.

Band of Burns sang Green Grow the Rashes in January 2017 at Union Chapel in London. A concert recording was released in the following year on their CD Live at the Union Chapel.

Lyrics

Green Grow the Rashes in The Scots Musical Museum

There's nought but care on ev'ry han'
In ev'ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere not for the lasses, O?

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses O.

The warly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O,
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my Dearie, O,
An' warly cares an' warly men
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O!

For you sae douce! ye sneer at this,
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest Man the warl' saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, O.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely Dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han' she try'd on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.