Green grow the rushes, O

Music: Jonathan Crehan. Words: Robert Burns (1759-1796)
SATB with piano; optional solos.
performance time approx 2m 30s
Range S: d' – d'' / A: a –d'' / T: d – d' / B: A – d'
Price code: B
Complexity: **

See a perusal copy of the music.
Hear a synthesized rendering
Green Grow the Rashes, O (the original title) is an early song of Robert Burns, and appears in Volume 1 of the Scots Musical Museum, the great six-volume collection of Scottish folk songs and other music (1787). Versions of the tune date back at least as far as the 17th century. Burns wrote more than one set of words to the tune — some bawdier than others — and referred to the song as evidence of which of the two “grand Classes” of men — the Grave or the Merry — he belonged to. The tune published here has become traditional for the song, though it differs a little from the original version. The words are an anglicised version of the original Scots.

Jonathan Crehan's delightful arrangement puts the rippling river (where the rushes grow) into the piano part, sweet and cheerful harmonies into the chorus, with turns at the verses by unison lads and lasses.


Green grow the rushes, O;
Green grow the rushes, O;
The sweetest hours that I ever spend,
Are spent among the lasses, O. [young women]

There's naught but care on ev'ry hand,
In ev'ry hour that passes, O
What signifies the life of man,
If it were not for 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 never enjoy them, O.

But give me a quiet hour at evening,
My arms about my dearie, O,
And worldly cares and worldly men
May all go topsy-turvy O!

Old Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her apprentice hand she tried on man,
And then she made the lasses, O.

Robert Burns

Purchase – 1036: Green grow the rushes, O

Before you click the "buy" button, please enter the name of your group and select the appropriate size.
Name of group
Size of group
The price depends on the number of singers in your group. This is a single payment for a licence to make as many copies as you need for your group to rehearse and perform the song. You can also re-print - for instance, to replace copies that get lost or worn out.

Copies must not be given, lent, hired or sold to any other group.

Orders are normally despatched within 24 hours - not instantly, because each PDF file is created specially for the purchaser.

Canasg sales are processed via Paypal. Paypal lets you pay with a simple credit or debit card if you don't have a Paypal account. Your Paypal transaction will be in sterling and it will be converted automatically if your credit card draws on a different currency. Paypal passes none of your secure information to Canasg.

If you would like us to send an invoice before you pay, or if you would like your order priced in $US or Euros, then please e-mail your order to us instead of using the form above.

Canasg sells sheet music for choirs …

… in PDF format, delivered by e-mail, with a licence to print as many copies, and as often, as you like. The copies are for the exclusive use of one ensemble, and the licence doesn't let you give, lend, hire or sell them to anybody else. Please read the detail before you buy.

Copying permitted (terms and conditions apply!)

When you buy from us, you can make as many copies as you need of the music, and as often as you need - so you can replace lost or worn copies.

Free perusal copies

You can download a sample PDF from this site, and make a printed copy for your own use. It will be overprinted “sample”. It isn't licensed for rehearsal or performance.

Modest prices

We do not charge a price per copy. You pay according to the size of your group.

Keep in touch

You can bookmark this page to help you find it again. For new releases, seasonal suggestions, and other news, we invite you to opt in to our occasional mailing list. Opting out is easy, whenever you want to.

Keep me posted:

Email Marketing by VerticalResponse

"Liking" Canasg on Facebook is another way to get updates.

You can e-mail us via the link at the foot of this page. We're always interested in your suggestions and your experience with using this web site.

Canasg Choral Music Publishing Canasg Music
publishing refreshingly original choral music

16 Morningside Park,
Edinburgh EH10 5HB, Scotland
Contact us