Green Grow the Rushes, O
Mark Reagan taught this song to the boys at Atlas this year. Every week beginning around Easter until near the end of the school year, he began his music class with this popular English carol. Similar in concept to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, the song builds a verse at a time up to the number twelve and repeats all the previous verses all the way down to one. Wikipedia says that this song was first recorded in Hebrew in the sixteenth century which I find very fascinating. There are a number of verses that are quite enigmatic while others seem fairly straight forward. The tune is very catchy, and I wish I had some way of playing a sample for you, but alas, I’m not sure it’s possible. But for whatever it’s worth, here is the last verse with all of the prior verses built in.
I’ll sing of twelve, O
Green grow the rushes, O
What are your twelve, O?
Twelve for the twelve Apostles,
Eleven for the eleven who 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,
All dressed up in green, O
One for the one that stood alone
And evermore shall be so.