In the For What It's Worth department, I've always sung the start of the second verse as:
The fields they stand empty, the hedges grow free-- No young men to turn them, or pastures o'er see
where I took "o'er see" to mean "oversee" or "tend."
That is, the young men would trim hedges, plow or turn and plant the fields, but they would simply tend the pastures and watch the flocks or herds there.
Sounds as if this was not the original words but I still like it....