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 (43 citations):
Randolph 459, "The Green Grass Grew All Round" (1 text)
Warner-FolkSongsAndBalladsOfTheEasternSeaboard, pp. 27-28, "The Rattling Bog" (1 text)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore3 133, "The Pretty Pair Tree" (1 text)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore5 133, "The Pretty Pair Tree" (1 tune plus a text excerpt)
Morris-FolksongsOfFlorida, #220, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 193, "And the Green Grass Grew All Around" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 141-143, "Prettiest Little Tree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson-BalladsOfTheKentuckyHighlands, pp. 87-88, "The Green Grass Grew All Around" (1 text)
Roberts-SangBranchSettlers, #93, "Tree in the Mountains" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sulzer-TwentyFiveKentuckyFolkBallads, p. 25, "The Tree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, pp. 174-175, "The Tree in the Valley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 206, "The Tree in the Wood" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 98, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 116, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Korson-PennsylvaniaSongsAndLegends, 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 tunes)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 104, "The Tree in the Wood" (2 texts)
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 36, "The Everlasting Circle" (4 texts)
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 182-183, "Down in the Lowlands There Grew a Tree" (1 text) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 396)
Palmer-EnglishCountrySongbook, #147, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-YellowbellyBalladsPart2 53, "The Tree On the Hill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gundry-CanowKernow-SongsDancesFromCornwall, pp. 56-57, "The Tree on the Hill" (1 text plus Cornish translation, 1 tune)
Roud/Bishop-NewPenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs #114, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp/Karpeles-EightyEnglishFolkSongs 58, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gentry/Smith-ASingerAmongSingers, #59, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior-TraditionalSongsOfNovaScotia, pp. 258-260, "The Tree in the Bog" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 92, "On This Hill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Pottie/Ellis-FolksongsOfTheMaritimes, pp. 54-55, "The Tree in the Bog" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 107, "The Stump" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-FolkSongsFromNewfoundland 88, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 200, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 96, "An Wedhen War An Vre (The Tree on the Hill)" (1 Cornish text, 1 tune)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #86, p. 2, ("In the Bogie there was a tree"); #87, p. 2, ("Down in yon valley there grows a tree") (1 text plus 1 fragment)
Greig/Duncan8 1668, "There Was a Tree" (4 texts, 2 tunes)
Newell-GamesAndSongsOfAmericanChildren, #46, "There was a Tree Stood in the Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 391, "The Green Grass Grew All Around" (1 text)
LibraryThingCampSongsThread, post 57, "The Rattlng Bog" (1 text, from user John5918, posted August 31, 2021; this particular version may have been pop-derived)
Harbin-Parodology, #115, p. 35, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rodeheaver-SociabilitySongs, p. 126, "The Tree in the Wood" (1 text, 1 tune)
Averill-CampSongsFolkSongs, p. 392, "There's a Tree in the Wood" (notes only)
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 Ford Song ("Now on the ground there were some wheels, The finest wheels that you ever did see") (Harbin-Parodology, #392, p. 95)
The Tree and the Branch
NOTES [46 words]: The Cornish words printed by Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 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 6.4
File: ShH98

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