The Rose Tree polka

Also known as “Bhiosa La I BPort Lairge”, Cups And Saucers, False Knight On The Road, The False Knight On The Road, I’ll Cloot My Johnny’s Breeches, Let’s Pet The Pope, Little May Cullinane, O, I Courted A Farmer’s Daughter, The Old Lea Rig, Paddy’s Land, Port Lairgè, Portlairge, Portláirge.

There are 17 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Rose Tree has been added to 152 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Rose Tree
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
f/e/ |: dB AF | A>B AB | d2 ed/e/ | fe ef/e/ |
dB AF | A>B AB | d2 ed/e/ | fd d2 :|
|:fe fg | a2 gf | eb ba | be ef/e/ |
dB AF | A>B AB | d2 ed/e/ | fd d2 :|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Rose Tree
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Cmaj
e/d/|:cAGE| G/A/G/E/G A/B/| cB/c/dc/d/| edde/d/|
cAGE| G/A/G/E/G A/B/| cB/c/dc/d/|1edce/d/:|2edcc/d/||
|:edef |gagf/e/| d aaa/b/ |a dde/d/ |
cAGE| G/A/G/E/G A/B/| cB/c/dc/d/|1edcc/d/:|2edc2||
ABC
X: 3
T: The Rose Tree
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
f/e/|dB AF|A2 AB/c/|d2 f/e/d/e/|fee
f/e/|dB AF|A2 AB/c/|d2 {f}ed/e/|fdd:|
e|fefg|a2gf|.e.bba|bee
f/e/|dB AF|A2 AB/c/|d2 f/e/d/e/|fdd:|
ABC

Twenty comments

The Rose Tree

Usually played with the Dashing White Sergeant throughout England and Scotland, its not played asa polka over here but rather as something between a march and a reel. I don’t know a ceilidh band anywhere on Mainland Britain that would not have this tune in their repertoire.
Noel Jackson
Angels of the North

Dance Tune Sets

Also widely used in Australia with Dashing White Sergent and White Cockade

This also sounds a great deal like the "Lilted March" on Harry Bradley’s "Bad Turns and Horseshoe Bends" - especially the second strain.

Does anyone have the lyrics that go along with this?

Cups and Saucers

It’s called Cups and Saucers on Bobby Gardiner’s album "The Clare Shout". He lilts the tune and runs it into the song "Cups and Saucers" (of the same tune). Maybe that is song eilzab is talking about.

“Portláirge”

Ó do bhíosa lá i Portláirge,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Bhí fíon is punch ar chlár ann,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Bhi lán á tígh de mhnáibh ann,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Agus mise ag ól a sláinte,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um

Agus d’éaluigh bean ó Rath liom,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Agus triúr ó Thiobraid Árann,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Ní raibh a muintir sásta,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Ní rabhadar ach leath-shásta,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um

Agus d’éaluigh bean le spreas uaim,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
’S ní raibh sí ró-dheas liom,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Bhí an triúr ó Thiobraid Árann,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Agus tháinig siad ar ais liom,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um

Ó raghadsa ón Charraig amárach,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Agus tabharfad cailin bréa liom,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Gabhfaimid trid an Bhearnan,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um
Ó thuidh go Thiobraid Árann,
Fall dow fall dee fall-lah dad-eye-um

I remember there were also lyrics for "The Rose Tree"…

The Clancys and Makems sang this one…

The tune is also commonly used for the Child ballad "The False Knight on the Road", where the child answers the devil’s riddles.

Four Hand Reel used The Flowers of Edinburgh for The False Knight on the Road. I wonder which came first? The Rose Tree was always played by the majority of Ceili Bands as part of the set of tunes for The Siege of Ennis

In D or D Mix…

As there are no Cs in the posted version it can be argued either way. In any case, G Major it is not. It’s not a big deal, the notes are right, but if you want to search for tunes in a certain key, this doesn’t come up in the right place.

Posted by .

This is my version of the song:

X: 1
T: Rose Tree
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Cmaj
e/d/|:cAGE| G/A/G/E/G A/B/| cB/c/dc/d/| edde/d/|
cAGE| G/A/G/E/G A/B/| cB/c/dc/d/|1edce/d/:|2edcc/d/||
|:edef |gagf/e/| d aaa/b/ |a dde/d/ |
cAGE| G/A/G/E/G A/B/| cB/c/dc/d/|1edcc/d/:|2edc2||

Port Lairge

Thanks Ceolachan for the definitive post. I remember this one back in the sixties performed by the Clancy Brothers. At the time we used to also play it in a polka set - Port Lairge/the Girl I Left Behind - but I have no idea why this combination or who recorded them like this originally.

A Roee Tree Lyrics

A rose tree in full bearing,
Had sweet flowers fair to see,
One rose beyond comparing,
For beauty attracted me;
Tho’ eager then to win it,
Lovely, blooming, fresh and gay.
I find a canker in it,
And now throw it far away.

How fine this morning early,
All sun shiny, clear and bright
So late I lov’d you dearly,
Tho’ lost now each fond delight.
The clouds seem big with showers,
Sunny beams no more are seen.
Farewell ye fleeting hours,
Your falsehood has chang’d the scene.

From A Young Lady’s Songster - Philadelphia, probably from about 1915.

This tune appears in 18th century Scottish collections as "The Old Lea Rig" - seems it was used for the song "The Lea Rig" before the tune more usually associated with those words today. It certainly fits and the tunes are a bit similar.

Now, over on folkinfo, I see a comment on "The Bonny Bunch of Roses":

http://www.folkinfo.org/songs/displaysong.php?songid=35

in which Frank Purslow is quoted saying the tune is Irish.

You’d think, if that were true, that one of those 18th century Scottish sources would have said so. They usually did try to attribute national origin to tunes.

So where did Purslow get that idea?

The tune doesn’t seem to me to have any obvious national characteristics except "somewhere west of the Urals".

The Rose Tree

The key is given here as G major, but quite obviously it’s in D. In ‘Jerry O’Brien’s Accordion Instructor’ (Roxbury Massachusetts 1949), the tune is titled "Paddy’s Land".

Turkey in the Straw

Is "The Rose Tree" the origin of "Turkey in the Straw"?
They get around a bit these tunes!