the song
title : Green grow the rashes
written by : Robert Burns / traditional, arrangement by Dougie MacLean
song copyright : none; arrangement: copyright control ?

the performance
musicians
Eddi Reader lead vocal, backing vocals
Teddy Borowiecki and original material accordion ?
Boo Hewerdine acoustic guitar ?
Roy Dodds not on this one?
with :
Johnny Scott guitar ?
music
key : D major
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM 110
form : V R V R V R V R
lyrics

Green grow the rashes

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

There’s nought but care on ev’ry han’,
In ev’ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies for the life o’ man,
An’ ’twere na for the lasses, O.

Green grow…

The warly race may riches chase,
An’ riches still may fly them, O;
An’ tho’ at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne’er enjoy them, O.

Green grow…

But gie me a canny hour at e’en,
My arms about my Dearie, O;
An’ warly cares, an’ warly men,
May a’ gae tapsalteerie, O!

Green grow…

For you sae douse, ye sneer at this,
Ye’re nought but senseless asses, O:
The wisest man the warl’ saw,
He dearly lov’d the lasses, O.

Green grow…

Auld nature swears, the lovely dears         [this verse not sung by Eddi]
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her prentice han’ she try’d on man,
An’ then she made the lasses, O.

Green grow…

source : No.45 in Poems and songs of Robert Burns / edited by James Kinsley. – Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1968

glossary
dousesober, prudent
tapsalteerie  topsy-turvey, upside-down
warl’world
warlyworldly

the recording
personnel
produced by : Eddi Reader and Teddy Borowiecki
recorded by : Teddy Borowiecki in Eddi’s house and garden, Battersea, London – 1996-06
mixed by : Teddy Borowiecki
mastered by : Tim Young at Metropolis
technical
track timing : 3:43
song timing : m:ss
released on
single : Medicine CD 2 track 3

commentary
Both the sentiments and the tune pre-date Burns. In fact the idea of letting the world turn upside-down (go hang?) for sake of love features in some versions of ‘Greensleeves’.

1996 was the 200th anniversary of Robert Burns death. For other songs by Robert Burns recorded by Eddi see the early ‘John Anderson my Joe’ and ‘Ay fond kiss’ (a Fairground Attraction track), plus, of course, the whole twenty-first century …sings the songs of Robert Burns enterprise.