Green Grow the Rushes, Oh

This song is an old English counting song, in the manner of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," although it has a different tune. The first verse includes a line for the number one; the second verse includes the line for two and then the line for one; and so on.

There are twelve verses in all. In 2003, Strange Horizons is running a series of brief stories by Jay Lake, one per month, each corresponding to a line of the song. Each line below will be linked to its story when the story is published.

I'll sing you one, oh;
Green grow the rushes, oh!
What is your one, oh?
One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so.
Green grow the rushes, oh!

Repeat for each line below. ("What is your two, oh?" and so on.) After each numbered line, sing the previous numbered lines, counting down to one, and then end with the refrain.

One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so.

Two, two, the lily-white boys, dresséd all in green, oh.

Three, three, the rivals.

Four for the Gospel makers.

Five for the symbols at your door.

Six for the six proud walkers.

Seven for the seven stars in the sky.

Eight for the April rainers.

Nine for the nine bright shiners.

Ten for the Ten Commandments.

Eleven for eleven who went to Heaven.

Twelve for the twelve Apostles.


Reader Comments

Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, with his family and their books. In 2003, his work is appearing in diverse markets such as As of Yet Untitled, Frequency, Hour of Pain, Redsine, and Roadworks. For more about him and his work, see his website.

Jay notes: "This story cycle would not have seen the light of day without the assistance of a cast of dozens, from the Fread group to the Forteana mailing list, and most of all the encouragement and support of the Strange Horizons editorial team."