Green Grow the Lilacs

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Green Grow the Lilacs is a folk song of Irish origin that was popular in the United States during the mid-19th century.

The song title is familiar as the source of a folk etymology for the word gringo that states that the Mexicans misheard U.S. troops singing "green grow" during the Mexican–American War.[1]

The song appears in the 1931 play of the same name by Lynn Riggs.


  • 1941 Tony Kraber – included in the 78rpm album The Old Chisholm Trail – Songs Of The American Southwest.[2]
  • 1957 Gordon MacRae – included in his album Cowboy's Lament.[3]
  • 1959 Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney – included in the album How the West Was Won.
  • Recorded in 1958 and released in 1959 by Harry Belafonte from the RCA LP "Love Is a Gentle Thing" LSP1927


There are many different versions of the lyrics.


  1. ^ See gringo for a derivation from griego.
  2. ^ "". Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "". Retrieved June 7, 2017.