Rattling Bog, The

DESCRIPTION: Cumulative song about the "great chain of being." Sample: "On this branch there was a twig/Rare twig, a rattling twig/Twig on the branch and the branch on the tree and the tree in the bog/Bog down in the valley-o." Most versions complete a circle
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1877 (Miss M. H. Mason, _Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs_)
KEYWORDS: ritual cumulative nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South,West),Scotland(Aber)) Wales US(Ap,MA,MW,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (38 citations):
Randolph 459, "The Green Grass Grew All Round" (1 text)
Warner-Eastern, pp. 27-28, "The Rattling Bog" (1 text)
BrownIII 133, "The Pretty Pair Tree" (1 text)
BrownSchinhanV 133, "The Pretty Pair Tree" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Morris, #220, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text)
Moore-Southwest 193, "And the Green Grass Grew All Around" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, pp. 141-143, "Prettiest Little Tree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson, pp. 87-88, "The Green Grass Grew All Around" (1 text)
Roberts, #93, "Tree in the Mountains" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sulzer, p. 25, "The Tree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Broadwood/Maitland, pp. 174-175, "The Tree in the Valley" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 206, "The Tree in the Wood" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
Sharp-100E 98, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
KarpelesCrystal 116, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Korson-PennLegends, pp. 72-74, "Was wachst uff diesem Bam? (What Grows on This Tree?)"; pp. 75-77, "Was wachst in diesem Wald? (What Grows in This Forest?)" (2 German texts plus non-poetic English translations, 2 tnes)
Reeves-Sharp 104, "The Tree in the Wood" (2 texts)
Reeves-Circle 36, "The Everlasting Circle" (4 texts)
Williams-Thames, pp. 182-183, "Down in the Lowlands There Grew a Tree" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 396)
Palmer-ECS, #147, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-Yellowbelly2 53, "The Tree On the Hill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gundry, pp. 56-57, "The Tree on the Hill" (1 text plus Cornish translation, 1 tune)
RoudBishop #114, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-80E 58, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 258-260, "The Tree in the Bog" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Creighton-NovaScotia 92, "On This Hill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Pottie/Ellis, pp. 54-55, "The Tree in the Bog" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-Labrador 107, "The Stump" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-Newfoundland 88, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering 200, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text)
Kennedy 96, "An Wedhen War An Vre (The Tree on the Hill)" (1 Cornish text, 1 tune)
Greig #86, p. 2, ("In the Bogie there was a tree"); Greig #87, p. 2, ("Down in yon valley there grows a tree") (1 text plus 1 fragment)
GreigDuncan8 1668, "There Was a Tree" (4 texts, 2 tunes)
Newell, #46, "There was a Tree Stood in the Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 391, "The Green Grass Grew All Around" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 38, #4 (1994), p, 80, "Hi! Ho! The Rattling Bog" (1 text, 1 tune, indirectly from Seamus Ennis)
Roger deV. Renwick, _Recentering Anglo/American Folksong: Sea Crabs and Wicked Youths_, University Press of Mississippi, 2001, pp. 72-73, "The Everlasting Circle" (1 text)
Maud Karpeles, _Folk Songs of Europe_, Oak, 1956, 1964, p. 6, prints a Danish text, "Langt Udi Skoven," with a loose English translation, which is a similar cumulative song about a tree, but the idea is so simple that they might be independent

Roud #129
Doney Hammontree, "The Tree in the Wood" (AFS; on LC12)
Mike Kent, "The Tree" (on NFMLeach); "Tree On a Hill" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Old King Cole, "And The Green Grass Grew All Around" (Edison 52310, 1928)
Premier Quartet, "And the Green Grass Grew All Around" (CYL: Edison [BA] 1808, n.d.)
Pete Seeger, "Green Grass Grows All Around" (on PeteSeeger20)
Uncle Don, "The Green Grass Grew All Around" (Conqueror 9013, 1938)
Theresa White, "Upside Down Story" (on MUNFLA/Leach)

cf. "Derriere Chez Nous (Behind Our House)" (theme)
cf. "Little Bird" (theme)
The Green Grass Growing All Around
The Endless Circle
There Was a Hill
The Tree and the Branch
NOTES [41 words]: The Cornish words printed by Kennedy are by Talek, based on English texts with some Breton influence.
The "Rattling Bog" title is obviously rare, but I used it because it seemed the most popular pop folk title. I may have been wrong about that. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: ShH98

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