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When it’s 5 a.m. at an Irish Wedding – Ho, Ro, the rattlin’ Bog

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When it’s 5 a.m. at an Irish wedding, the atmosphere is electric, the spirit of celebration undiminished despite the ticking clock. The traditional Irish folk song, “Ho, Ro, the Rattlin’ Bog,” echoes through the hall. An energetic tune that gets the blood pumping and the feet moving, it’s a staple of such occasions. The room spins with dancers, their steps growing more animated with each verse. Laughter and joyful cheers fill the air as the bride and groom join in, their faces glowing with happiness. The entire gathering is caught up in the infectious rhythm, the echo of “Ho, Ro, the Rattlin’ Bog” creating a magical memory that will last a lifetime.

“Ho, Ro, the Rattlin’ Bog”

“Ho, Ro, the Rattlin’ Bog,” is a traditional Irish folk song that is often sung in a cumulative style, where each verse builds upon the previous one, making the song progressively longer. The song is set in a bog, an important type of wetland in Ireland, and it tells a whimsical, repetitive story about the interconnectedness of nature with each verse adding a new element. The song is typically upbeat and lively, often accompanied by traditional Irish instruments like the bodhrán and fiddle. The catchy refrain, “Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,” is repeated after each verse, inviting audience participation. This song is popular in Irish music sessions and gatherings due to its fun, infectious rhythm and engaging lyrics.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now 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.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that tree there was a branch,
A rare branch and a rattlin’ branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that branch there was a limb,
A rare limb and a rattlin’ limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that limb there was a nest,
A rare nest and a rattlin’ nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now in that nest there was a bird,
A rare bird and a rattlin’ bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that bird there was a feather,
A rare feather and a rattlin’ feather,
And the feather on the bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that feather there was a bug,
A rare bug and a rattlin’ bug,
And the bug on the feather,
And the feather on the bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin’ bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

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By Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21288737

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Last updated May 29, 2023


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