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Green Grow the Rushes, O

Elora

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I've always enjoyed the song and my family sang it frequently, in harmony. It was also a common camp song in my youth. My sisters had explanations for all of the references, although I can't remember them. I've always thought that, like most Christian traditions, it was "borrowed" and bastardized to conform to Christian theology.

You said it all right there, for some Christians but not all...
 

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Here is another one that we used to sing at Christmas.


As it fell out on a bright holiday
Small hail from the sky did fall;
Our Saviour asked his mother dear
If he might go and play at ball.

As it fell out upon a bright holiday
Small hail from the sky did fall;
Our Saviour asked his mother dear
If he might play at ball.

“At ball? At ball? My own dear son?
It's time that you were gone;
Don't let me hear of any complaints
At night when you come home.”

“At ball? At ball? My own dear son?
It's time that you was gone,
But don't let me hear of any doings
Tonight when you return.”

So up the hill and down the hill
Our sweet young Saviour ran
Until he met three rich lords',
“Good morning to each one.”

So it's up the hill, and down the hill
Our sweet young Saviour ran,
Until he met three rich young lords
All playing in the sun.

“Good morn, good morn, good morn,” said they,
“Good morning,” then said he,
“And which of you three rich young lords
Will play at ball with me?”

“Good morn, good morn, good morn”, cried they,
“Good morning,” oh says he,
“And which one of you three rich young lords
Will play at ball with me?”

“We are all lords' and ladies' sons
Born in a bower and hall,
And you are nothing but a poor maid's child
Born in an ox's stall.”

“Well, we're all lords' and ladies' sons,
All born in a bower and hall,
And you are nothing but a Jewish child
Born in an oxen stall”

Sweet Jesus turned him round about,
He did neither laugh nor smile,
But the tears came trickling from his eyes
Like water from the sky.

“If you're all lords' and ladies' sons
Born in your bower and hall,
I'll make you believe in your latter end
I'm an angel above you all”

“Well, though you're lords' and ladies' sons
All born in your bower and hall
I'll prove to you at your latter end
I'm an angel above you all”

So he made him a bridge of the beams of the sun
And over the water ran he;
The rich young lords chased after him
And drowned they were all three.

So he built him a bridge from the beams of the sun
And over the river danced he;
Them rich young lords followed after him
And drowned they was all three.

So up the hill and down the hill
Three rich young mothers ran
Saying, “Mary mild, fetch home your child
For ours he's drowned each one.”

So it's up the hill and down the hill
Three rich young mothers run
Crying “Mary mild, fetch you home your child
For ours he's drowned each one.”

Then Mary mild, she took her child
And laid him across her knee
And with a handful of withy twigs
She gave him slashes three.

So Mary mild fetched home her child,
She laid him across her knee
And with a bundle of withy twigs
She gave him thrashes three.

“Oh bitter withy, oh bitter withy
You've caused me to smart.
And the withy shall be the very first tree
To perish at the heart.”


Do you think that "Green Grow the Rushes" is another Christmas song?
 
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