The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #101028   Message #3447971
Posted By: Brian Peters
06-Dec-12 - 08:18 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Sheep Crook and Black Dog (Ewan MacColl)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sheep Crook and Black Dog (Ewan MacColl)
I remember a conversation with Bob Copper, in which he said: "What you have to remember is that, for many young women from the lower end of the scale, going into service represented the only chance they had of getting an education."

In other words, not only does Flora find a degree of comfort in her new post, she has - relative to the agricultural working class, at least - become upwardly mobile. The shepherd boy is a part of her old life, and its small wonder she wants to move on.

The way I read the song, her line about being too young for marriage is simply an excuse to avoid a future she doesn't particularly relish, even before the change in her circumstances.

Meanwhile, is the shepherd boy ready to top himself by the end, or is he just planning to move to another area, to leave behind some bitter memories?

A very moving song, for anyone who's felt the pain of rejection...