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Green Grow the Lilacs

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Green Grow the Lilacs

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Green Grow the Lilacs

cho:      Green grow the lilacs, all sparkling with dew

I'm lonely, my darling, since parting with you;

But by our next meeting IU'll hope to prove true

And change the green lilacs to the Red, White and Blue.

I once had a sweetheart, but now I have none
She's gone and she's left me, I care not for one
Since she's gone and left me, contented I'll be,
For she loves another one better than me.


I passed my love's window, both early and late
The look that she gave me, it makes my heart ache;
Oh, the look that she gave me was painful to see,
For she loves another one better than me.


I wrote my love letters in rosy red lines,
She sent me an answer all twisted and twined;
Saying,"Keep your love letters and I will keep mine
Just you write to your love and I'll write to mine."

Note: After Wildwood Flower, this may be the most universally
folk-processed song ever. Every version I've seen has at least
one alternate locution; I decided that it wasn't worth listing
all the variants I've encountered. Lilacs, or Laurels; Red White
and Blue or Orange and Blue; "sparkling with dew" or "all wet
with the dew" or "and so does the rue" ;"twisted and twined" or
"twisted with twine" --- etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Nobody's
quite sure what the words mean (in detail, that is), and probably
a lot of the singers mumbled a good deal; in any case, don't
worry too much and enjoy. It's a great tune.  Oh yes, the story
about this being the basis for the Mexican epithet of "gringo" is
most likely pure fakelore. RG

Recorded by the Mitchell Trio, Tony Kraber
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