Rattlin' Bog, The

The Rattlin' Bog is an Irish folk song about a bog on the grounds of Collon Monastery, Collon, Co Louth in the Boyne Valley. Specifically In the woodlands of Collon Scout Campsite. Hence the popularity around the scouting campfire throughout Ireland.


The Rattlin' Bog (WORD)
The Rattlin' Bog (PDF)

Mystically the legend says that the hole itself breathes and consumes all manner of things. The adjective rattlin' is an abbreviation of 'rattling', which, in the context of this song, means 'splendid'. The song is a cumulative song, similar to The Twelve Days of Christmas, as it has a list at the end of each verse which grows throughout the piece. In some performances of the song, the speed is constantly increased, in the same way that The Sailor's Hornpipe is sometimes played. There is some variation in how the lyrics are documented. Some versions record the first word of the chorus as either 'Oh' or 'Ho' or just 'O' followed by the second word as either 'ro' or 'row'. Sometimes the second part of the chorus is sung with the same lyrics as the first part, other times is replaced with 'Rare Bog, the Rattlin' Bog, the Bog Down in the Valley-oh'. Since it is a folk song, it has been transmitted over generations orally and aurally so all these versions coexist and it may be impossible and even nonsensical to seek a single authoritative version of the song's lyrics.

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