Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"The Rattlin' Bog" is a cumulative song (think "The Twelve Days of Christmas") and is an example of the use of song to develop good memory.
Rattlin' Bog is Irish/Celtic in origin.
There are other similar tunes.
I grew up singing "And the Green Grass Grew All Around" which sounds a lot like Rattlin' Bog.
There is also a traditional Welsh song "Y Pren ar y Bryn" (The Tree on the Hill) that is similar to "Rattlin' Bog". It starts with....

What a grand old tree, Oh fine tree.
The tree on the hill, the hill in the valley,
The valley by the sea.
Fine and fair was the hill where the old tree grew.
(second verse)
From the tree came a bough, Oh fine bough ! etc..

Rattlin' Bog is a fun upbeat tune and like any folk song, its lyrics can vary from singer to singer; country to country; etc.

The Rattlin' Bog

Hi-ho the rattlin' bog and the bog down in the valley-o
Hi-ho the rattlin' bog and the bog down in the valley-o!

And in that bog there was a tree
A rare tree, and a rattlin' tree
And the tree in the bog and the bog down in the valley-o

(repeat after every verse)

And on that tree there was a limb
A rare limb, and a rattlin' limb
And the limb on the tree
And the tree in the bog
And the bog down in the valley-o!


(additional verses)
And on that bough there was a branch...
And on that branch there was a twig...
And on that twig there was a nest...
And in that nest there was an egg...
And in that egg there was a bird...
And on that bird there was a wing...
And on that wing there was a flea...

When I do this song with the kids, I usually use movements to represent each part of the tree, the bog, the nest, etc. I also have the children "swing their partner" during the chorus. They Love it!

I have attached a youtube player with 9, yes 9, different singers/versions of the song. Notice that this song is not just for kids! In a few of them you will see either the singer or the audience doing various movements. THose too vary from person to person. The last video is of the song "The Green Grass Grew All Around".