> Folk Music > Songs > Come and I Will Sing You

Come and I Will Sing You / The Twelve Apostles / Green Grow the Rushes-O

[ Roud 133 ; Ballad Index ShH97 ; Wiltshire Roud 133 ; trad.]

Nowell Sing We Clear sang Green Grow the Rushes, O! on their 1981 album The Second Nowell. They returned to this “widely known secular carol about the twelve days of Christmas” in 2008 on their CD Nowell Nowell Nowell. And they learned an Oregon version called Come and I Will Sing You from Elizabeth Poston's Second Penguin Book of Christmas Carols, which they sang on their 1988 album Nowell Sing We Four.

Jim Eldon sang What Is Your One-O in 2004 on his CD Home from Sea.

Eliza Carthy titled her re-working of this song Acres of Ground, and sang it in 2007 in the Imagined Village's first album, The Imagined Village.

The Dollymopps sang The Twelve Apostles in 2011 on their CD of traditional songs from the Isle of Wight collected by W.H. Long, Long Songs.

The Melrose Quartet sang Come and I Will Sing You on their 2013 CD Fifty Verses. They noted:

This fantastic Newfoundland tune came to us from the wonderful Jane Hewson of St Johns. It was collected by Pamela Morgan from Newfoundland singer Jack Carroll in Stephenville. We have mixed the Newfoundland text with some lines from Lucy Broadwood and J.A. Fuller Maitland's English County Songs.

Kate Rusby sang the Dilly Carol in 2015 on her CD The Frost Is All Voer.

Lyrics

Nowell Sing We Clear sing Green Grow the Rushes, O!

I'll sing you One, O!
Green grow the rushes, O!
What is your One, O?
One is One and all alone, and ever more shall be so.

then cumulative to:

I'll sing you Twelve, O!
Green grow the rushes, O!
What is your Twelve, O?
Twelve for the Twelve Apostles
Eleven for the Eleven that went to Heaven
Ten for the Ten Commandments
Nine for the Nine Bright Shiners
Eight for the April Rainers
Seven for the Seven Stars in the Sky
Six for the Six Proud Walkers
Five for the Symbols at your Door
Four for the Gospel Makers
Three, Three, the Rivals
Two, Two, the Lily-White Boys, covered all in green, O!
One is One and all alone, and ever more shall be so.

Nowell Sing We Clear sing Come and I Will Sing You

Come and I will sing you,
    What shall I sing you?
I will sing you one alone,
    What shall be the one alone?
One is one and one alone.
Come to my dilly, come dally, come dilly
Alone, and ever shall remain so.

Repeat and add two, three, etc., increasing to

Come and I will sing you,
    What shall I sing you?
I will sing you twelve of them,
    What shall be the twelve of them?
Twelve are the followers all in a row,
'Leven, eleven all gone to heaven,
Ten are the ten command-i-ments,
Nine of them's Aunt Mary Ann,
Eight of them are the filly-shine white,
Seven are the shiners up in the sky,
Six are the six that never did mix,
Five are the oxen standing by,
Four, the carollers at the door,
Three are the three that's in Bethlea,
Two are the Chris-si-mas babes in green,
One is one and one alone.
Come to my dilly, come dally, come dilly
Alone, and ever shall remain so.

The Melrose Quartet sing Come and I Will Sing You

Come and I will sing you
    What will you sing me?
I will sing you one-oh
    What is your one-oh?
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so

Come and I will sing you
    What will you sing me?
I will sing you two-oh
    What is your one-oh?
Two is for the lily-white babes, covered all in green-oh
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so

Come and I will sing you
    What will you sing me?
I will sing you three-oh
    What is your one-oh?
Three of them are strangers
Two is for the lily-white babes, covered all in green-oh
One is one and all alone and evermore shall be so

… 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