The Longest Song Wiki
Advertisement

A traditional song so widely varied that tracing the original would be extremely difficult. Rattlin' Bog is a variation on songs that are present in numerous countries throughout the UK and the rest of Europe, such as the traditional welsh song Y Pren ar y Bryn (The Tree on the Hill), or The Everlasting Circle, The Rattling Good Yarn, or any number of other pieces.

Though this song is often credited as an Irish traditional tune, there's very little other than the fact it was popular amongst Irish folk singers to suggest that to be the case. Any suggestion that it's linked to the isle of Raithlin is pure speculation.

The Longest Johns perform a variant of it on their livestreams, and it is a festival favourite.

The lyrics vary in most performances, with the song following a formula that appends the newly found facet of an item to all of the previous. The song increases in tempo throughout, generally until such a time as the singers themselves cannot actually keep up anymore.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Livestreams.

{Chorus} Hole, hole, the rattlin' bog,
Bog down in the valley-oh,
Rare bog, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-oh.

And in that bog there was a hole,
(A rare tree, a rattlin' tree!)
Hole in the bog, and the bog down in the valley-oh

{Chorus}

And that hole there was a tree,
A rare tree, a rattlin' tree,
Tree in the hole and the hole in the bog and the bog down in the valley-oh.

And on that tree there was a branch,
A rare branch, a rattlin' branch,
Branch on the tree and the tree in the hole...

And on that branch there was a limb,
a rare limb, a rattlin' limb,
Limb on the branch and the branch on the tree...

And on that limb there was a nest,
a rare nest, a rattlin' nest,
Nest on the branch and the branch on the limb...

In that nest there was an egg,
A rare egg, a rattlin' egg,
Egg in the nest and the nest on the branch...

And in that egg there was a bird,
a rare bird, a rattlin' bird,
Bird in the egg and the egg in the nest...

And in that bird there was a worm,
a rare worm, a rattlin' worm,
Worm in the bird, and bird in the egg...

And on that worm there was a tick,
a rare tick, a rattlin' tick,
Tick on the worm and the worm in the bird....

On that tick there was a louse,
a rare louse, a rattlin' louse,
Louse on the tick and the tick on the worm...

{Chorus til Finish}

Advertisement