Green Grow The Rushes

Green Grow the Rushes (a/k/a the ‘Happy Carpenter Song‘) is a beautifully played song that is on the slow side for earlier R.E.M. I learned it recently because it is my oldest son’s favorite song (I never could play it back in the day except just the rudimentary chorus with the open D string).

West Germany gives a good glimpse into how he plays it starting with the opening chords:

Peter Buck seems to be playing the A like this. And he adds an Esus4 and slides it up on the E in the verse.

As he comes to the end part, Peter Buck repeats the chorus part, but he plays the lower note on the D string instead of sliding down (see at 22:42 in the video).


At 23:20, you can see perfectly how Peter Buck played those last chords:

1, 2, 3

He slides down to a D chord at the end.

Fortunately, this is a great video showing Peter Buck playing pretty much every part of the song. Unfortunately there is nothing else out there showing R.E.M. playing this song live–the video from Meredith College picks up just after they played Green Grow.  At least we have enough to be able to play it and be fairly confident about accuracy!



Further Reading:

Possible Lyrics

What a great video! R.E.M. playing Green Grow in 1986, Nashville:



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