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godspeed the plow

DigiTrad:
GODSPEED THE PLOW
SUCCESS TO THE FARMER


Related threads:
Farmers arms/God speed the plow (8)
Speed The Plough key (44)
Lyr Req: Farmer's Toast / Godspeed the Plough (15)
(origins) Origins: Speed the Plough (or Plow if you prefer) (18)
Tune Req: The Farmer (14)
Lyr Req: Farmer's Toast (5)


Mike Adamson 26 May 99 - 01:25 PM
Richard Bridge 26 May 99 - 03:01 PM
Jo Taylor 26 May 99 - 06:49 PM
Mark Cohen 26 May 99 - 07:09 PM
Susan of DT 26 May 99 - 07:28 PM
Mike 26 May 99 - 08:09 PM
JB3 (inactive) 27 May 99 - 03:54 AM
Richard Bridge 27 May 99 - 03:11 PM
Jo Taylor 27 May 99 - 07:03 PM
Mark Cohen 27 May 99 - 11:17 PM
manylodges (inactive) 27 May 99 - 11:54 PM
Mike 28 May 99 - 10:23 AM
Snuffy 09 Sep 00 - 09:47 AM
GUEST,Arkie 09 Sep 00 - 12:20 PM
Dale Rose 09 Sep 00 - 01:47 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Sep 00 - 03:29 PM
Gervase 10 Sep 00 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Hulda Rebecca 28 May 11 - 10:27 AM
Tattie Bogle 28 May 11 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Angela 01 Oct 12 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,999 01 Oct 12 - 05:03 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Oct 12 - 12:29 PM
VivIlo Veith 21 Oct 12 - 08:02 PM
doc.tom 22 Oct 12 - 05:07 AM
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Subject: godspeed the plow
From: Mike Adamson
Date: 26 May 99 - 01:25 PM

Does anyone know the author and history of this ?19th century drinking song? Thanks Mike


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 May 99 - 03:01 PM

I think I know a man who might - one Paul Hurst from slightly south of Maidstone, Kent. I'll try to remember to ask him. I would put it earlier than that and of course over here it would be "plough". Have you tried obvious sources like the Idiot (the Idiom of the People) etc?


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 26 May 99 - 06:49 PM

If it's the one I'm thinking of - & can't find in the DT - I don't think it's a drinking song despite wishing 'good health' to the farmer. Had an idea it dated from aroung the period of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (1830ish?)
Here are some bits I half remember:

I plow & I sow
I reap & I mow
I shear my own sheep & I wear it

forgotten bit -cows, lambs, cure my own ham?

I have lawns I have bowers
I have fruit I have flowers
And the lark is my morning alarmer
So jolly boys now
God speed the plough
Long life and good health to the farmer


Would love someone to come up with the lyrics, it'll be stuck in my head now until I remember it. I had a very old two handled mug with the words on it, I believe these were sold in support of some cause. Sorry to be so vague but my mug lives in England at present & I'm in France...
Help, someone!
Jo


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Subject: Lyr Add: GODSPEED THE PLOUGH
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 26 May 99 - 07:09 PM

Here's a version I learned, don't remember where it's from:

GODSPEED THE PLOUGH

Let the wealthy and great
Live in splendor and state
I enby them not, I declare it
For I grow my own rams
My own ewes, my own lambs
And I shear my own fleece and I wear it

By plowing and sowing
By reaping and mowing
All natrue provides me with plenty
With a cellar well stored
And a bountiful board
And my garden affords every dainty

For here I am king
I can dance, drink, and sing

Let no one approach as a stranger
I'll hunt when it's quiet
Come on, let us try it
Dull thinking drives anyone crazy

I have lawns, I have bowers
I have fruits, I have flowers
And the lark is my morning alarmer
So all farmers now
Here's Godspeed the plough
Long life and success to the farmer
^^^
I'm sure that's been folk processed along the way, but there it is.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Susan of DT
Date: 26 May 99 - 07:28 PM

We do so have Godspeed the Plow under that title.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Mike
Date: 26 May 99 - 08:09 PM

Thanks for all your messages. Yes, I came across it on an old farmers drinking mug my Father has ( just one verse). I think it may be early 19th century, so the Tolpuddle Martyrs may be a connection. I wonder if there is a recorded author?


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUCCESS TO THE FARMER
From: JB3 (inactive)
Date: 27 May 99 - 03:54 AM

In '79 while in Taunton, I stepped into a pub after watching some Morris Dancing (I would have said Barnstaple Morris Men, maybe I have 2 events confused.) I happened to catch a gentleman singing the best farmer/drinking song I had ever heard. He immediately got up to leave and I approached him on his way out. He was in a hurry and took my address, to send me the words. Lo and behold, he did! (How many times have you promised and meant to and didn't?) He's a descendant of Charles Dickens, by the same name. He calls it:

Success to the Farmer

Come all jolly fellows who delight in being mellow
Attend unto me, I beseech you
For a pint when it's quiet, come lads let us try it
Dull thinking will drive a man crazy

I have lawns, I have bowers
I have fields, I have flowers
And the lark is my morning alarm bird
Come jolly boys, now, here's God Speed the Plow
Long life and success to the Farmer

Now all who are able, come sit at my table
And I'll not hear one word of complaining
For the tinkling of glasses all music surpasses
And I long to hear bottles a-draining

For here I am king, I can laugh, drink, or sing
And let no man appear as a stranger
Just show me the ass who refuses a glass
and I'll treat him to hay in the manger

May the wealthy and great roll in splendour and state
I envy them not, I declare it
For I eat my own ham, my chicken and lamb
And I shear my own sheep and I wear it

Mr. Dickens said believed the song originates from the county of Sussex.
^^
June


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 May 99 - 03:11 PM

If it's from Sussex (England) can we have it as "plough" plese?


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 27 May 99 - 07:03 PM

Mark - thanks!
Susan - sorry sorry, found it when I put in 'godspeed' as one word! And I might have spelt it plough, being an English song...
Mike - My mug (so it's a bit different from yours maybe?)had, I think, the first & last verses as in DT. Perhaps the other half-remembered bits came from hanging about with morris people when it probably was a drinking version as in the other thread which has coincidentaly popped up about this/these song/s.
Richard - Thoroughly agree.

Introduced French friends to the tune Speed the Plough (nothing to do with this song except for the velocity of the same agricultural implement!) - they couldn't understand the title so I wrote it down. It's since been known as 'Speed the Plug'...

Jo


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 27 May 99 - 11:17 PM

Here's an interesting literary aside, and a question. I once saw a play by David Mamet called "Speed-the-Plow", about the darker side of Hollywood producers. The program notes acknowledged that the title seemed to have nothing to do with the play, but hinted that there may be an esoteric meaning which was significant. I suspect a British connection. Any enlightenment out there? And any connection to the song?


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: manylodges (inactive)
Date: 27 May 99 - 11:54 PM

I have that as a English boarding house song, the farmer sings first then is aswerd by the sailer who thinks farming is bad. I will copy the song down and get back to you.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Mike
Date: 28 May 99 - 10:23 AM

Thanks again everyone. I think "plow" must be the American spelling. Thats how it appears in the DT. Jo - I've seen a couple of verses on different examples of contemporary drinking/farming mugs of better quality than my Fathers. It must have been a bit of a fad around that time, and there probably quite collectable. Thanks again for your interest - Mike


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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: THE FARMER'S TOAST
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 09:47 AM

I have a version recorded about 20 years ago by Geoff Higginbottom, which is basically the same as that posted by JB3 but with an extra verse (the second one from Mark Cohen's post). Geoff treats verse 2 as a chorus, repeating it after verses 4 and 6, effectively making 3/4 and 5/6 double verses. He also gives it a different title, viz.

THE FARMER'S TOAST

Come all jolly fellows
Who love to be mellow -
Attend unto me, nice and easy.
For a pint where it's quiet,
Let no man deny it,
Dull thinking will drive a man crazy.

CHORUS
I have lawns, I have bowers,
I have fruits, I have flowers,
The lark is my daily alarmer.
Be jolly boys now
Who follow the plough.
Here's a health and success to the farmer.


Draw near to my table,
My lads, while you're able.
Let me hear not one word of complaining.
For the jingling of glasses
All music surpasses,
And I love to see bottles a-draining.
For here I am king:
I can laugh, dance and sing.
Let no man appear as a stranger.
But show me the ass
Who refuses a glass
And I'll treat him to hay in the manger.

Let the wealthy and great
Roll in splendour and state -
I envy them not, I declare it.
For I eat my own ham,
My own chicken and lamb;
I shear my own fleece and I wear it.
By ploughing and sowing,
By reaping and mowing,
King nature rewards me with plenty:
I've a cellar well stored,
And a plentiful board,
And the garden affords every dainty.

This is also reflected in the tune, which is in three parts. So the full sequence is AC ABC ABC, where C is the chorus. As this is one of 3800+ songs in the DT with no tune supplied, I am posting an attempt at Geoff's tune here.

But it looks like you can sing it with or without the chorus, and you could probably sing all 8 verses to any single part of this tune or any combination thereof.

Enjoy!

MIDI file: FARMTOST.MID

Timebase: 480

Tempo: 160 (375000 microsec/crotchet)
Key: F
TimeSig: 3/4 18 8
Name: Farmer's Toast, The
Text: S:sung by Geoff Higginbotham
Start
0000 1 60 127 0479 0 60 000 0001 1 65 127 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 65 090 0719 0 65 000 0001 1 60 090 0239 0 60 000 0001 1 65 127 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 1919 0 69 000 0241 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 67 090 0719 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 70 090 1919 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 72 127 0719 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 62 127 0479 0 62 000 0001 1 70 090 0719 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 69 127 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 1919 0 67 000 0001 1 60 090 0239 0 60 000 0001 1 60 090 0239 0 60 000 0001 1 60 127 0479 0 60 000 0001 1 65 090 0719 0 65 000 0001 1 60 090 0239 0 60 000 0001 1 65 127 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 1919 0 69 000 0241 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 67 090 0719 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 70 090 1919 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 72 127 0719 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 62 127 0719 0 62 000 0001 1 70 090 0239 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 127 0719 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 64 090 0479 0 64 000 0001 1 65 127 0959 0 65 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 70 090 0239 0 70 000 0001 1 72 127 0719 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 65 127 0959 0 65 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 72 090 0239 0 72 000 0001 1 74 127 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 70 090 0479 0 70 000 0001 1 67 090 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 65 127 0719 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0119 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0119 0 65 000 0001 1 64 090 1439 0 64 000 0001 1 72 090 0479 0 72 000 0001 1 72 127 0479 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 62 127 0959 0 62 000 0001 1 70 090 0239 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 69 127 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 1679 0 67 000 0241 1 60 090 0479 0 60 000 0001 1 60 127 0479 0 60 000 0001 1 65 090 0719 0 65 000 0001 1 60 090 0239 0 60 000 0001 1 65 127 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 1919 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 67 090 0719 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 70 090 1919 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 72 127 0239 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0719 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 62 127 0719 0 62 000 0001 1 70 090 0239 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 127 0719 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 64 090 0479 0 64 000 0001 1 65 127 0959 0 65 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 70 090 0239 0 70 000 0001 1 72 127 0719 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 65 127 0959 0 65 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 72 090 0239 0 72 000 0001 1 74 127 0479 0 74 000 0001 1 70 090 0479 0 70 000 0001 1 67 090 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 65 127 0719 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0119 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0119 0 65 000 0001 1 64 090 1439 0 64 000 0001 1 72 090 0479 0 72 000 0001 1 72 127 0479 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 62 127 0239 0 62 000 0001 1 70 090 0959 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 69 127 0479 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 1679 0 67 000 0241 1 60 090 0479 0 60 000 0001 1 60 127 0239 0 60 000 0001 1 65 090 0719 0 65 000 0001 1 60 090 0479 0 60 000 0001 1 65 127 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 1919 0 69 000 0241 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0479 0 67 000 0001 1 67 090 0719 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 67 127 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 70 090 1919 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 67 090 0239 0 67 000 0001 1 72 127 0719 0 72 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 65 090 0479 0 65 000 0001 1 62 127 0959 0 62 000 0001 1 70 090 0239 0 70 000 0001 1 69 090 0239 0 69 000 0001 1 67 127 0719 0 67 000 0001 1 65 090 0239 0 65 000 0001 1 64 090 0479 0 64 000 0001 1 65 127 0959 0 65 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the March 10 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X: 136
T:Farmer's Toast, The
M:3/4
L:1/8
Q:150
S:sung by Geoff Higginbotham
N:filename [GDSPDPLW
D:The Levenshulme Triangle
K:F
P:A
C2|
F2F3C|(FG)A4-|A4zF|
G2G3F|(GA)B4-|B4(AG)|
c3AF2|D2B3A|A2G4-|G4CC|
C2F3C|(FG)A4-|A4zF|
G2G3F|(GA)B4-|B4(AG)|
c3AF2|D3BA2|(G3FE2)|F4||
P:B
AB|
c3AF2|F4Ac|d2B2G2|(F3G/F/E2-|E4)c2|
c2A2F2|D4BA|A2G4-|G3zC2|
C2F3C|(FGA4-|A4)FF|
G2G3F|(GAB4-|B4)AG|
cA3F2|D3BA2|(G3FE2)|F4||
P:C
AB|
c3AF2|F4Ac|d2B2G2|(F3G/F/E2-|E4)c2|
c2A2F2|DB4A|A2G4-|G3zC2|
CF3C2|(FGA4-|A4)zF|
G2G3F|(GAB4-|B4)AG|
c3AF2|D4BA|(G3FE2)|F4||


Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 12:20 PM

Being a farmer's lad, many years removed from plowing the earth, my affection for items such as this seems constantly growing. Thanks to all! There is also a fiddle tune called "Speed the Plow" or "Speed the Plough" if you will. Is there any connection?


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Dale Rose
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 01:47 PM

I had the same thought about the fiddle tune as Arkie ~~ which is not all that surprising. Possibly we are both thinking of the fine version by Lonnie Robertson on Lonnie's Breakdown -- Classic Fiddle Music from Missouri, Rounder CD 0375, available where ever fine music is sold, and well worth the price you pay for it ~~ 34 tracks.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Sep 00 - 03:29 PM

No connection at all.  "(God) Speed The Plough" was a common expression, for obvious reasons.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FARMER'S TOAST / THE JOLLY FARMER
From: Gervase
Date: 10 Sep 00 - 05:36 AM

The Suffolk singer Don Shepherd, from whom I learned the song many moons back, recorded the Farmer's Toast with the following sleeve notes:
"Properly titled 'the Jolly Farmer', the tune to these traditional words was written by Eric Winter, from whom I learnt it."
As far as I know it was originally found in in Sussex, but variants are know all over southern England.
The version I sing is slightly different and a little longer than Don's -

THE FARMER'S TOAST

Come all jolly fellows
Who long to be mellow,
Attend unto me and sit easy.
For a pint when it's quiet,
My boys let us try it,
Dull thinking will drive a man crazy.
I have lawns, I have bowers
I have fruits, I have flowers
And the lark is my morning alarmer
So my jolly boys now
Here's Godspeed the plough
Long life and success to the farmer.

Draw near to my table
My boys when you're able,
Let me hear not one word of complaining.
For a pint when it's quiet,
My boys, let us try it,
Dull thinking will drive a man crazy.
For here I am king
I can laugh drink and sing,
And let no man approach as a stranger.
And show me the ass
Who refuses a glass,
And I'll treat him to hay in a manger.

Let the wealthy and great
Live in splendour and state
I envy them not, I declare it
For I eat my own hams
My own chickens and lambs
And I shear my own fleece and I wear it
By ploughing and sowing
By reaping and mowing
All nature provides me with plenty
With a cellar well stored
And a bountiful board
And my garden affords every dainty.

Were it not for my seeding
You'd have but poor feeding;
I reckon you'd all starve without me.
But whatever the season,
I have always good reason
To have my companions about me.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: GUEST,Hulda Rebecca
Date: 28 May 11 - 10:27 AM

I found a lovely Adams Staffordshire mug with some of the above text in an antiques shop in Murray, Utah, USA. Thanks to Google I found this site and am very happy for the background information to pass on to my darling daughter who fiddles. She is taking the mug to Sweden to live. How culture wends and wanders as it will! Thanks so much! Cheers.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 May 11 - 05:45 PM

There's one in Beatrix Potter's house in Cumbria too! It was on a mantelpice in an upastairs room when we went a couple of years ago! Anyone know how many were made?


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: GUEST,Angela
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 04:50 PM

Foolishly I said I would toast the harvest this year at the harvest supper. I thought I would use my God Speed the Plough mug. Can anyone give me a summery of the poems origins in a nutshell please.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: GUEST,999
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 05:03 PM

http://sylvestermanor.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/god-speed-the-plough/


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FARMER (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 12:29 PM

Note this version doesn't contain the phrase "God speed the plough" but I think it is older than the versions that do.

From the Bodleian Ballads collection, Harding B 11(1150):


THE FARMER.

  Come each jolly fellow,
  That loves to be mellow,
Attend unto me and sit easy;
  For a bottle in quiet,
  My boys, let us try it,
For dull thinking will make a man crazy;
  Whilst here I am king,
  Let us laugh, dance, and sing;
Let no mortal appear as a stranger;
  But shew me the ass
  That refuses his glass,
And I'll order him grass in a manger.
    Lal de lal, &c.

  By reaping and mowing,
  By plowing and sowing,
Dull Nature supplies me with plenty;
  I've a plentiful board,
  And a cellar well stor'd,
And my garden supplies ev'ry dainty;
  I have land, I have bowers,
  I have fruits, I have flowers,
And I'm here as a Justice of quorum;
  In my cabin's far end
  I've a bed for a friend,
With a clean fire-side and a jorum.
    Lal de lal, &c.

  Was it not for my seeding
  You would have poor feeding,
For indeed you would soon starve without me;
  My mind is content
  When I pay my own rent,
And I'm happy when friends are about me.
  Draw near to my table,
  Ye boys that are able,
Let us hear no more words of complaining,
  For the ringing of glasses
  All music surpasses,
I long to see bottles a draining.
    Lal de lal, &c.

  Let the mighty and great
  Roll in splendor and state,
As I envy no mortal, I swear it;
  For I eat my own ham,
  My own chicken, and lamb,
And I shear my own sheep and I wear it;
  I have all things in season,
  Such as woodcock and pheasant,
And the lark is my morning alarmer,
  So may each good fellow
  When inclin'd to get mellow,
Drink the plough and the good honest farmer.
    Lal de lal, &c.


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: VivIlo Veith
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 08:02 PM

The link to the words on the Sylvester Manor site is a version: God Speed the Plough (trad. adapted by Bennett Konesni) He turned it into a love song for his sweetie HOWEVER his tune is the best I have heard and I like how he used the "Jolly Good Now" for the chorus.

Does anyone have him singing it? I heard him in October 2012 at the Sylvester Manor Plant and Sing event (Shelter Island, NY) but thought to turn on my recorder on my phone too late. I have searched the web quite thoroughly and found nothing.

http://sylvestermanor.wordpress.com/2009/08/11/god-speed-the-plough/


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Subject: RE: godspeed the plow
From: doc.tom
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 05:07 AM

The 'chorus' was a common text on harvest jugs and other porcelain back to the 18thC - may have been earlier, I don't know. The tune used generally in the revival was written, as the notes above say, by Eric Winter. There are many textual variants that derive from the revival version - folk process in action!


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