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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


Each time a new file is posted in Current Tablature, the previous file is moved to "Archived tab files".



Green Grow the Lilacs  
(ca. 1845)


Irish/American Folk Tune
Arr: Suzanne Campling 
Accompaniment: Ruth Randle

             Some authorities categorically state that Green Grow the Lilacs originated as an Irish folk song during the 19th century. There seems to be  no authentication of this among published Irish music, although reference is made to its resemblance to at least three other titles….Green Grow the Rashes, O, Green Grow the Rushes,  and Green Grow the Laurels. At least two of these are identified as Scottish folk music and none has either lyrics or melody resembling the present song.


          In America, Green Grow the Lilacs is identified as a marching song of the U.S. Army during the American-Mexican War (1845–1848). This is suggested by the lyrics  that contain the phrase, “and change the green lilacs to the Red, White and Blue”. The lyrics we know today exist in many versions, and so does the melody. There seems little doubt that both the melody and story line have been altered to the point where we are now dealing with a totally Americanized  folk tune. Over the years, this tune has been rediscovered, altered and sung by several prominent persons including cowboy-singer Tex Ritter, Harry Belafonte and even Johnny Cash.




          This is Suzanne's first venture at arranging a tune in 1-3-5. Although she chose the key of G for her arrangement, she discovered she could have done it in A just as easily. This is a unique advantage of open tunings when used with the dulcimer. Note here that Ruth has also added her genius in providing a countermelody arrangement to be played in unison with the melody as a second part.


We hope you enjoy this selection.


Your 1-3-5 Team


Download files 


Green Grow the Lilacs duet in G.pdf

Green Grow the Lilacs duet in G.tef

Green Grow the Lilacs duet in G.mid

Green Grow the Lilacs melody.mid

Green Grow the Lilacs harmony.mid


Green Grow the Lilacs duet in G.mus


Historical Links:






The picture: Lilacs in a Window by Mary Cassatt, 

19th century American Impressionist painter. 

  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


Our .MIDI music files are produced by TablEdit notation software.





This website is brought to you by Merv Rowley,
Ruth Randle, Elizabeth DiPietri, Suzanne Campling and Gail West
Please email gwest1955@aol.com with any website questions, broken links, etc.
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