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Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys

theleveller 03 Aug 12 - 03:27 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 03:35 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 03:38 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 03:40 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 03:58 AM
John MacKenzie 03 Aug 12 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 03 Aug 12 - 04:25 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 04:39 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 03 Aug 12 - 04:56 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 05:07 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Wee Jock 03 Aug 12 - 06:04 AM
theleveller 03 Aug 12 - 09:21 AM
theleveller 03 Aug 12 - 09:36 AM
Susan of DT 03 Aug 12 - 11:52 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Aug 12 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,mg 03 Aug 12 - 01:18 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Aug 12 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 03 Aug 12 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 03 Aug 12 - 01:47 PM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Aug 12 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,GY morris man 03 Aug 12 - 04:08 PM
John MacKenzie 03 Aug 12 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 03 Aug 12 - 04:46 PM
Whistleworks 03 Aug 12 - 05:49 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Aug 12 - 06:05 PM
GUEST,mg 03 Aug 12 - 06:10 PM
theleveller 04 Aug 12 - 04:43 AM
theleveller 04 Aug 12 - 04:51 AM
theleveller 04 Aug 12 - 05:06 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Aug 12 - 10:04 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Aug 12 - 10:17 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 04 Aug 12 - 12:13 PM
selby 04 Aug 12 - 12:35 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Aug 12 - 01:00 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Aug 12 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 04 Aug 12 - 01:28 PM
theleveller 04 Aug 12 - 01:39 PM
Steve Gardham 04 Aug 12 - 06:25 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Aug 12 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,mg 05 Aug 12 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 05 Aug 12 - 08:33 PM
Jim Dixon 26 May 13 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Don Wise 26 May 13 - 01:31 PM
Max Johnson 27 May 13 - 10:52 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 03:27 AM

I'm just starting some research for a possible book about the British ploughman in social history and would appreciate any songs, poems, books, articles etc. on the subject.

The 'jolly fellows who follow the plough' seem to have held a special place in rural society where the ability to 'hold a straight furrow' whilst ploughing an acre a day was especially valued. In Gray's 'Elegy' he signalled the end of the day; Housman and Edward Thomas bemoan ploughmen killed in the trenches; John Stewart Collis tries to learn the skills in 'The Worm Forgives the Plough'; and in songs and poems they are often depicted as raffish, merry fellows, addicted to drinking and womanising – an image of which the ploughman poet himself, Robbie Burns, is a stereotype. It's a subject I find fascinating, probably because my grandfather was a ploughboy at the age of 12, so I'd appreciate any contributions.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 03:35 AM

Isaiah 2.4 ~~ the bit about beating swords into plowshares, spears into pruning-hooks: hence the ploughman as symbol & exemplar of peaceful times.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 03:38 AM

The Season Round / The Ploughshare (Roud 169)

... We will send for the ploughman who ploughs up and down. See the boy with his whip and the man to his plough. Here's a health to the jolly ploughman ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 03:40 AM

Re last post ~~ this is of course after we have brought this "So cheerfully round"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 03:58 AM

Take into account also the symbolic and associative overtones of the name the pub/catering trade adopted for the simple bread'n'cheese bar snack.

~M~

One of my favourite Private Eye [I think it was] cartoons was of the barman saying to the disgruntled customer, "Well, that's what the ploughman has for his lunch ~ fish-fingers & chips!"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 04:08 AM

The Roving Ploughboy
The Merry Ploughboy
Ploughman Laddies
The Ploughman (R Burns)
All Jolly Fellows that Follow the Plough
Songs that mention ploughing are legion, from John Barleycorn onwards.
There's also Tae a Moose (R Burns)
(Whilst ploughing on a November day, Burns ruined the nest of a field mouse. He ponders why the creature runs away in such terror)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 04:25 AM

George Ewart Evans' The Pattern Under the Plough might be worth looking out.

The cut worm forgives the plow (sic) is from Blake's Proverbs of Hell.

The 'anonymous Cornish poem' Jake Walton set as Follow the Plough on Times & Traditions for Dulcimer (1976) is actually St Eval by American poet Elizabeth J. Coatsworth. There is a thread about this. A very lovely poem at any rate & Jake's setting is truly sublime.

In 1930's Scotland (according to Broons / Oor Wullie-lore) a strapping polisman might be referred to as a guid plooman wasted.

John Barleycorn is an obvious one, but his re-imagining by celebrated Orkney poet George Mackay Brown makes sure the guid plooman is most certainly not wasted:

As I was ploughing in my field,
the hungriest furrow ever torn,
followed my plough and she did cry:
Have you seen my mate John Barleycorn?


The Painful Plough is something I've dabbled with from time time but it's never taken root.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 04:39 AM

From wiki ~ any good to you?~~~

The Starry Plough banner was originally used by the Irish Citizen Army, a socialist, Republican movement. James Connolly, co-founder of the Irish Citizen Army with Jack White, said the significance of the banner was that a free Ireland would control its own destiny from the plough to the stars.

This was flown by the Irish Citizen Army during the 1916 Easter Rising.

The flag depicts the constellation of Ursa Major, known as The Plough in Ireland and Britain, or in the US, the Big Dipper. Ursa Major (Latin for "Great Bear"; orig. Greek: "Megali Arktos", "Μεγάλη Άρκτος") is one of the most prominent features of the night sky over Ireland throughout the year.

While similar to the state flag of Alaska, it predates Alaska's by more than a decade.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 04:56 AM

How could I forget Ursa Major? When asked for my star sign I always say The Plough.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 05:07 AM

There are good wiki entries on Ploughman's Lunch, both the meal and the 80s political film of that name - so called as a symbol of political propagandising by using the sort of faux naïf phraseology of which the meal's name is a prime example.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 05:27 AM

See also the wiki entry on Plough Monday.

& note that The Plough is one of the most popular of inn signs.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Wee Jock
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:04 AM

Onen of the best known songs regarding ploughboys is Plooman Laddies sung by Elizibeth Stewart which she learnt from her aunt Lucy from Fetterangus, also The Rovin' Ploughboy attributed to John Strachan a mole catcher. Also if you go on Mudcat's song index you can get a number of songs relating to the ploughman/boy.

PS If you want to hear songs relating to the farming community listen to a cd by Jock Duncan called Ye Shine Whaur Ye Stan, also listen to cds from the Fife Traditional Singing Weekend, which can be obtained from Springthyme Music Fife.

Cheers

Wee Jock


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the suggestions chaps - not sure where this book is going yet until I've done a lot more research so keep the suggestions coming. Might try the Bodleian next.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: theleveller
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 09:36 AM

Yeah some good stuff in there - especially like Rosetta and her Gay Ploughboy


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Susan of DT
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 11:52 AM

A search for "plough" in the lyrics and knowledge search box above (with only DT, not forum, checked) yielded 91 songs with the word plough in them. A similar search for "plow" yielded 67 songs. Some of the "plow" songs may be Americanized, but originally British. This should give you a good start.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 01:05 PM

Be careful with your choice of 'ploughmen' songs. Most of them are generic and written by towny poets. It's usually easy to spot them as you could just erase 'plough'and put in almost anything else and they would still make sense. The best examples of the genuine thing are probably the Bothy ballads. Many of the ones on the Bodl come from the 18thc theatres and pleasure gardens.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 01:18 PM

Is merry ploughboy the same as off to dublin in the green?
God speed the plough
Some good ones involving horses but I can't think of them


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 01:29 PM

'my grandfather was a ploughboy at the age of 12'

Whereabouts, Leveller? My ancestors were ploughmen around the High Wolds of the East Riding.

If you go to www.yorkshirefolksong.net you'll find the song Mutton Pie which is East Yorkshire's contribution to the bothy canon.

'Come, me bonny lads, if ye want ti larn ti plough....'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 01:47 PM

> From: theleveller
>
> ploughing an acre a day

A second attempt at posting this ...

Hopefully you are aware that many units of length and area, including the acre, have a distant agricultural basis:

Acre

"During the Middle Ages, an acre was the amount of land that could be plowed in one day with an ox."

Furlong

"
Farm-derived units of measurement:

   1. The rod is a historical unit of length equal to 5½ yards. It may have originated from the typical length of a mediaeval ox-goad.
   2. The furlong (meaning furrow length) was the distance a team of oxen could plough without resting. This was standardised to be exactly 40 rods.
   3. An acre was the amount of land tillable by one man behind one ox in one day. Traditional acres were long and narrow due to the difficulty in turning the plough.
   4. An oxgang was the amount of land tillable by one ox in a ploughing season. This could vary from village to village, but was typically around 15 acres.
   5. A virgate was the amount of land tillable by two oxen in a ploughing season.
   6. A carucate was the amount of land tillable by a team of eight oxen in a ploughing season. This was equal to 8 oxgangs or 4 virgates.
"

BTW, I'm a farmer's son and former farmworker, and always have, and still do, eat a lunch consisting of a cheese sandwich, or a 'doorstep' of bread or a roll cut in two, with butter and a slab of cheese on it - so ploughmen DO eat Ploughman's Lunches!

Also, although it's probably too modern to be of interest to you, I've written a poem about the agricultural year which mentions ploughing:

A Year In Essex


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 01:47 PM

Above was from me, for some reason I couldn't sign it ...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 01:55 PM

Dublin In The Green is a pastiche of an English song about a ploughboy who joins the Warwicks RHA.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,GY morris man
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 04:08 PM

IN comes i the farmers man.
Can't you see the the whip in my hand.
I plough my masters land,
Straigh from end to end withought a baulk or bend.
And to my horses i attend.
Gee up whoa.

They were my lines in the plough play we performed last christmas time
We perform a lincolnshire plough play every year.
We try and use a different play every year, but most texts are very similar,and have got corrupted over time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 04:16 PM

Generations of change is a modern song that mentions ploughing too.

Generations of Change

    (Matt Armour)

    My faither was a baillie on a wee fairm at Caiplie
    And he worked on the land a' the days o' his life
    By the time he made second, he said he reckoned
    He'd ploughed nearly half o' the East Neuk o' Fife
    He fee'd on at Randerston, Crawhill and Clephinton
    Cambo, Carnbee, Kilrennie Hill
    At Kingsbarns he married, at Boarhills he's buried
    Man, if he'd lived, he'd be ploughing there still

    For those days were his days, those ways were his ways
    To follow the plough while his back was still strong
    But those days are past and the time's come at last
    For the weakness of age to make way for the young

    I wasnae for ploughing, to the sea I was going
    To follow the fish and the fisherman's ways
    In rain, hail and sunshine I watched the lang runline
    Nae man mair contented his whale working day
    I've lang lined the Fladden Ground, the Dutch and the Dogger Bank
    Pulled the big fish from the deep Devil's Hole
    I've side trawled off Shetland, the Faroes and Iceland
    In weather much worse than a body could thole

    For those days were my days, those ways were my ways
    To follow the fish while my back was still strong
    But those days are past and the time's come at last
    For the weakness of age to make way for the young

    My sons they have grown and away they have gone
    To search for black oil in the far northern sea
    Like oilmen they walk, like Texans they talk
    Nay, there's no' much in common between my sons and me
    They've rough-rigged on Josephine, Forties and Ninian
    Claymore, Dunlin, Fisher and Awk
    They've made fortunes for sure, for in one trip ashore
    They spend more than I earned in a whole season's work

    For this day is their day, this way is their way
    To ride the rough rigs while their backs are still strong
    But this day will pass and the time come at last
    For the weakness of age to make way for the young

    My grandsons are growing, to school now they're going
    But the lang weeks o' summer they spend here wi' me
    We walk through the warm days, we talk of the old ways
    The cornfield, the codfish, the land and the sea
    We walk through the fields my father once tilled
    Talk wi' the old men who once sailed wi' me
    Man, it's been awfu' guid, I showed them all I could
    O' the past and the present, what their future might be

    For tomorrow is their day, what will be their way
    What will they make of their land, sea and sky
    Man, I've seen awfu' change, still it seems very strange
    To look at the world through a young laddie's eyes


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 04:46 PM

Yes, "Generations Of Change" is a wonderful song - one of the best modern songs I have ever heard in fact. I have an excellent recording of it by Cilla & Artie which I successfully digitised last year, along with all my other vinyls. I particularly like the way Matt used the names as a motif for the song - first the field names, then the fishing ground names, then the oil rig / oil field names.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Whistleworks
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 05:49 PM

On The Black Family's first CD, they did a great song called The Ploughboy Lads. It's still available on Amazon.

Best,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:05 PM

What a wonderful song! thanks for posting it, John!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:10 PM

Harris and the Mare
Rocks of Bawn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 04:43 AM

Wow! Some great stuff here. Thanks for the interest. Just been having a quick look atRobert Bloomfield's poem, 'The Farmer's Boy' and there's some great descriptions of the ploughman's lot.

"'my grandfather was a ploughboy at the age of 12'

Whereabouts, Leveller? My ancestors were ploughmen around the High Wolds of the East Riding."

Steve, my mother's family were farm labourers at Foston On The Wolds - the low wolds, I suppose. Whereabouts did your family come from?

My grandad left school at 12 instead of 14 because there was nothing else they could teach him. He was an incredibly clever man who read continuously throughout his life. He worked for most of his life as a railway clerk in Hornsea. I found out a few years ago the well=kept family secret, which my grandad only discovered in his twenties, that he was, in fact, illegitimate and that his sister was actually his mother, made pregnant by a local landowner whilst in service, and his mother was really his grandmother.

My aunt married a tenant farmer from Bewholme and I can stll remember, as a child, beingfascinated bythe old horse ploughs lying around the farmyard.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 04:51 AM

When I was in my early teens an old Wolds farmer I came across told me about his early life when he was taken out of school by his father to do the ploughing and about what happened when they bought a tractor. I later made this into a song called Jack and Jill. Here it is - the old chap's favourite song was 'Jolly Fellows Who Follow the Plough', whihc he sang with some interesting variations (which I remember Mike Waterson being fascinated by), so I've included a couple of lines at the beginning.

Jack and Jill by Whipstaff


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 05:06 AM

Just as an aside to the above - we once sang the song in a pub in Kelk, appropriately called The Chestnut Horse. When we'd finished a huge weatherbeaten old chap, with hand the size of hams, turned round with tears running down his cheeks and said that the song exactly mirrored his experience as a young lad. Wonderful moment!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 10:04 AM

Worth looking at David Kerr Cameron's 'The Ballad and the Plough' for songs and also for some invaluable background references.
Also worth following up some of the fascinating information on the horsemens' secret societies, as referred to by "the horsman's grip and word" in 'Nicky Tams' and evocatively described by Orkney novelist in 'Greenvoe' (?)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 10:17 AM

Sorry - that should read Orkney novelist George McKay Brown...
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 12:13 PM

Horses & Plough


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: selby
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 12:35 PM

About ploughman's/farm labourers food, in 1968 I worked with a old guy who had worked on the land, the family farm, I think had been split between brothers, therefore he was working in industry. His dinner every day was a hunk of cheese half a large onion plus an apple all washed down with a bottle of cold tea. He used his work knife to cut off portions.
Keith


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 01:00 PM

Hi, Keith. How's the family?

Leveller,
My ancestors were ploughmen around Wetwang, but this is about 5 generations back so probably around the 1850s and then back into the seeds of time, well at least to about the 11th century. As you will know my name comes from a little village on the Wolds. Did you ever record or note down any of your family's songs? Or any from the East Riding?

Just for the record as you would expect I recorded 'All Jolly Fellows' lots of times in the East Riding and surrounding counties, but never from anyone who worked the Wolds. Wolds farmers were mainly the big house, don't get your hands dirty farmers. The fellow giving the orders on a Wolds farm would have been the foreman who actually managed the farm.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 01:07 PM

Keith A of Hertford,
I'm very interested in the origins of 'Merry ploughboy'/'Scarlet and the Blue'. Are you basing your mention of Warwickshire RHA on oral versions as just about every Royal Artillery unit from WWI sang it? Our Wolds waggoners and ploughboys all joined Sykes's Waggoners Regiment in the RHA and it was one of their theme songs.

Has anyone come across a printed version or the original sheet music? Bert Lloyd claimed it was written by John Blockley but I can find no evidence for this although it was probably written about 1870. It doesn't feature on any broadsides I know of.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 01:28 PM

Nic Jones sings the wonderful Ploughboy Lads(are all the go), which is not the same song that The Black family sing( I think!)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: theleveller
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 01:39 PM

"Did you ever record or note down any of your family's songs? Or any from the East Riding?"

No, I'm afraid not, although I was fascinated by what the Watersons were doing. I left the East Riding when I was 18 for the big city (London) and got involved in other stuff.

The interesring part of the old chap who I knew who sang 'We're all Jolly fellows' was his take on the bit about breakfast "....there's eggs and there's bread and a piece of old sow...." he said the bacon was sometimes so fatty that they could eat it so they put it in the pockets of their moleskin breeches and, over time, a permanent grease patch formed there. Some versions of the song suggest that they took it to eat later but according to my old boy they chucked it away when they got outside. There was a bit in his version about this wich. I recall, made Mike Waterson roar with laughter when he heard it. Pity I can't remember it now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 06:25 PM

That must be 'the piece in oor pockets ah'll sweear an ah'll vow.'

Your version reminds me of the West Riding equivalent of 'Mutton Pie' which Paul recorded in which the mutton has become bacon, in which 'the least bit dropped would poison the cat.'


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 12:20 PM

Keith,
Is your Joe going to be at Whitby on the Thursday? I need someone to help with my Squeezaround.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 07:48 PM

Is it who will plow the fields now? in Bantry Girls' lament..not sure.

Keep your hand on the plow..I believe an old spiritual..much better to me than the "eyes ont he prize"...

I think a reference in We are coming Father Abram 100000 more...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 08:33 PM

> From: GUEST,mg
>
> Is it who will plow the fields now? in Bantry Girls' lament

Yes, that's right.

Who will plough the fields now?
Who will cut/sow the corn?
Who will watch the sheep now,
And have them neatly shorn?
The stack that's in the haggard/hazard
Unthrashed it may remain
Since Johnny's gone a-thrashing
The dirty King Of Spain.

Although it's uaually thought of as a girl's song, in the days when I used to be able to get beefy enough strings, I used to sing it, in Open B (Open C down a semi - used to struggle with the highest notes in Open C).


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Subject: Lyr Add: EARLY TO BED (Little Johnny England)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 May 13 - 01:21 PM

EARLY TO BED
As sung by Little Johnny England on "10 Years On"

1. Before the sun has risen in the pitch-black and the cold,
I lead the team across the yard and wait as I've been told.
When the order's given, file out to the lane.
Sparks fly from the horses' hooves and the hobnails do the same.

2. The horses warm our bodies as we slumber past the trees.
The sound of men and horses is carried on the breeze,
Past the cottage curtains, the candles all aglow,
Across the bridge so noisily and hear the river flow.

CHORUS: And it's early to bed, early to rise
Won't make a ploughboy wealthy or wise,
And it's out to the fields and the open skies
With the call of the wind and the seagulls' cries.

3. Hitch up to the plough line, wait for the day.
When the sun appears, I'm already on my way.
Cold grips the handle; the hands grip the reins.
As they lean to their collars, the horses take the strain.

4. Working all day with no time to stop and stand,
The earth flows in waves as it patterns out the land.
So much to think about, so much to see,
That the day flows so fast and so easily.

CHORUS

5. One hand on the handle, the other on the line,
Furrow after furrow, time after time,
I walk behind the plowshare, and listen to the sound,
And when the sun begins to fade, I'm homeward bound.

CHORUS TWICE


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 26 May 13 - 01:31 PM

Rather more modern( perhaps too modern?) is "Penny for the Ploughboys" (Colin Cater) recorded by Pete Coe on his CD "In Paper Houses".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
From: Max Johnson
Date: 27 May 13 - 10:52 AM

Threadbare Consort used to sing several ploughing songs.

The Painful Plough:
They must have bread and biscuit, rice pudding, flour and peas
To feed our jolly sailors as they sail o'er the seas
And every man that stands here must own to what is true:
They cannot sail the ocean without the painful plough.


My favourite though, will always be the well-known 'Ox-Plough Song.


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