“An Binnsin Luchra (The Little Bench [or Bunch] of Rushes)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(393))
Keywords: courting sex promise betrayal foreignlanguage
Found in: Ireland Canada(Mar)

Description

Irish Gaelic: Singer, going to the water-meadow, meets a girl who has cut rushes. He bids her join him in the forest. She reproaches him; he'd promised a home and fine clothing, "all in payment for the bench of roses and the trouble I had over it"

Supplemental text

An Binnsin Luchra (The Little Bench [or Bunch] of Rushes)
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Creighton, Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick,
#22, p. 54. Collected from Angelo Dornan, Elgin, N. B. A fragment
of a song probably originally Gaelic.

"I'll deck you out in splendour
With costly jewels my Arabian queen,
I mean my charming Mary Ann
With your bonny bunch of rushes green."

"'Tis hard for to refuse you
Although you have led me astray
I'll go with you although I know
My days I'll spend in mourning."

Notes

Fowke/MacMillan notes to 64: "This is an English version of the widely known Irish Gaelic song ... In JFSS III 17 Lucy Broadwood gives a version from Waterford, Ireland, with alternate English and Gaelic stanzas." Fowke/MacMillan includes the "Arabian Queen" reference that ties it to Creighton-SNewBrunswick.

Broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(393), which is in English, is -- like Fowke/MacMillan -- just about seduction; it refers to "any queen" rather than "Arabian queen" and shares the reference to hunting dogs and singing birds with Fowke/MacMillan. -BS

Broadsides

Recordings

References

  1. Fowke/MacMillan 64, "The Bonny Bunch of Rushes Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 22, "Bonny Bunch of Rushes Green" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  3. ST RcABLtlb (Full)
  4. Roud #3380
  5. BI, RcABLtlb