As we have been reminiscing during this holiday season about our childhood and things that we loved, we remembered a favorite song–Green Grow the Lilacs.
Green grow the lilacs, all sparkling with dew
I’m lonely my darling since parting with you
And by the next meeting, I hope to prove true
To exchange the green lilacs for the red, white, and blue!
It was an Irish folk song that was made popular in the United States during the 19th century. Mexican soldiers during the Mexican-American War misheard the American soldiers singing “Green Grow” and started calling our soldiers “gringos!”
Later on, it was turned into a play of the same name by Lynn Riggs. The Theatre Guild produced it on Broadway in 1931, starring Franchot Tone, June Walker, and Tex Ritter. The Theatre Guild then decided to make it into a musical, and engaged Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein to write it. Oklahoma! opened on Broadway in 1943 and ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances! Out of the 128 plays The Guild produced on Broadway, it became its greatest hit!
But of course, Green Grow the Lilacs started it all and we were able to find a wonderful YouTube video of the song sung by Tex Ritter (ahhh, the marvels of the internet!).
Enjoy and Happy New Year!
Philip & Marilyn