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Green Grow the Rushes

[ Roud 24180 ; Bodleian Roud 24180 ; trad.]

Cecilia Costello sang Green Grow the Rushes in 1967 to Charles Parker and Pam Bishop. This recording was included in 2014 on her Musical Tradition anthology Old Fashioned Songs. Rod Stradling commented in the accompanying booklet:

This is a quite different song from that by Burns (Roud 2772) with the same title. In fact, it is a fragment of a six-verse broadside published by Haly of Cork, from which the italicised half verse above has been taken. Sam Henry points out that a tune of this name dates from 1628.

There are at least 8 songs which use the Rushes/Rashes title or refrain line, and some of them are very close to Green Grow the Laurels. But Cecilia's is sufficiently different to warrant its own number.


Cecilia Costello sings Green Grow the Rushes

Green grows the rushes
And the tops of them small.
I once loved a young man,
He was handsome and tall.
But now he's done mischief;
He has caused us to part,
Every time I think of him,
Oh, it does break my heart.

But I'll go to his Officer
And I'll fall on my knees.
If twenty bright guineas
Will set my love free.
And if that will not do,
Along with you I'll go.
If you'll let me go along with you;
Oh, no, my Love, no.