Green Grow the Rushes O - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Green Grow the Rushes O was written by the Scottish poet Robbie Burns (1759-1796).  This song, like many of Burn's songs, is written in Scottish dialect.  Where possible and (relatively) sensible, I've translated this into modern standard(ish) English.  But where there are no close 'translations' I've left in the original words (which have a certain charm anyway).  In the third verse, for example, "a' Gae tapsalteerie" roughly translates as "go topsyturvy"; and in the fourth verse "sae douce" means "so grave".  You can find out more about the song's origins here.

Chords

Capo at 5th Fret


Verse


There's nought but care on every hand

Dm7
     
In every hour that passes, O:

F                                 C
   What signifies the life of man,

Dm7                                     F                     F - G7
      
If it were not for the lasses, O.




Chorus

C
Green grow the rashes , O;

Dm7
   Green grow the rashes , O;

F                                             C
    The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,

Dm7                                    F                   F - G7
      
Are spent among the lasses, O.

Lyrics

There's nought but care on every hand,
In every hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life of man,
If it were not for the lasses, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;
Green grow the rashes , O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

The worldly race may riches chase, -
And riches still may fly them, O;
And though at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;
Green grow the rashes , O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

Give me a cannie hour at e'en ,
My arms about my dearie, O;
And worldly cares and worldly men
May a' Gae tapsalteerie, O!

Green grow the rashes , O;
Green grow the rashes , O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

For you sae douce , ye sneer at this;
You're nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the world e'er saw ,
He dearly loved the lasses, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;
Green grow the rashes , O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice hans she tried on man,
And then she made the lasses, O.

Green grow the rashes , O;
Green grow the rashes , O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.