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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleWe're all jolly fellows that follow the plough
Roud No.346
Collected FromFaulkner, William
LocationTaynton
CountyOxfordshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Ox 238; WSRO: 2598/28: Williams, A: Round about the Upper Thames Ms Vol. 4 p 1, 2
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 4th March, 1916, p 3, Part 21, No. 5: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 207, 208
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

It was early one morning at the break of day,
The cocks were a crowing, the farmer did say -
"Come rise my good fellows! come, rise with good will,
For your horses want something their bellies to fill."

Verse 2

When four o clock comes, boys, then up we all rise,
And into the stable boys, so merrily flies;
With rubbing and scrubbing, our horses, I vow,
We are all jolly fellows that follow the plough.

Verse 3

When six o clock comes at breakfast we meet,
And bread, beef and pork boys, so heartily eat;
With a piece in our pocket, I swear and I vow,
We are all jolly fellows that follow the plough.

Verse 4

We harness our horses and to plough then we go,
To see which of us the best furrow can show;
With our hands in our pockets we like gentlemen go,
And so nimbly we trip over the plain, boys, below.

Verse 5

Our master came to us and thus he did say -
"What have you been doing, boys, this long summer's day?
You have not ploughed an acre, I swear and I vow,
You are all idle fellows that follow the plough."

Verse 6

I stepped up to him and I made this reply -
"We have all ploughed an acre, so you tell a d----d lie;
We have all ploughed an acre, I swear and I vow,
And we're all jolly fellows that follow the plough."

Verse 7

He turned himself round and he laughed at the joke:
"It is past two o clock, boys, it's time to unyoke:
Un-harness your horses, and rub them down well,
And I'll give you a jug of the bonny brown ale."

Verse 8

So come, all brave fellows, wherever you be,
Come, take this advice and be ruled by me;
So never fear your masters, I swear and I vow,
We are all jolly fellows that follow the plough.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'An old favourite, once widely known, but at this time, scarcely to be met with. I had a copy on an ancient song sheet but I was compelled to search over the whole Vale before I could find one to recite me the words complete from memory. In the end I obtained the copy of William Falconer, Taynton, near Burford, and late of Brize Norton Oxfordshire.'

Note 2

The text of verse 4 is on a slip of paper glued to the manuscript with the beginnings and ends of words visible at the margins.

In Verse 5, line 4 the original text is:

You are darned idle fellows that follow the plough.

In Verse 6, line 2 the original text is:

We have all ploughed an acre, you tell a damned lie

In Verse 7, line 4 the original text is:

And I'll give you a jug of the very best ale

Note 3

Williams, Alfred: RAUT Ms, Vol 3 p 1, 2. The song is not attributed to Falconer but the texts are so similar to suggest that it has the same source.

Verse 1

It was early one morning at the break of day,
The cocks were a crowing, the farmer did say -
"Come rise my good fellows! come, rise with good will,
For your horses want something their bellies to fill."

Verse 2

When four o clock comes, boys, then up we all rise,
And into the stable boys, so merrily flies;
With rubbing and scrubbing, our horses, I vow,
We are all jolly fellows that follow the plough.

Verse 3

When six o clock comes at breakfast we meet,
And bread, beef and pork boys, so heartily eat;
With a piece in our pocket, I swear and I vow,
We are all jolly fellows that follow the plough.

Verse 4

Then we harness our horses and away then we go,
And trip o'er the plain boys as nimbly as does,
And when we come there so jolly and bold
To see which of us the straight furrow can hold.

Verse 5

Our master came to us and thus he did say -
"What have you been doing, boys, this long summer's day?
You have not ploughed an acre, I swear and I vow,
And you're d----d idle fellows that follow the plough."

Verse 6

I stepped up to him and I made this reply -
"We have all ploughed an acre, so you tell a d----d lie;
We have all ploughed an acre, I swear and I vow,
And we're all jolly fellows that follow the plough."

Verse 7

He turned himself round and laughed at the joke:
"It is past two o clock, boys, it's time to unyoke:
Un-harness your horses, and rub them down well,
And I'll give you a jug of the very best ale."

Verse 8

So come, all brave fellows, wherever you be,
Come, take this advice and be governed by me;
So never fear your masters, I swear and I vow,
We are all jolly fellows that follow the plough.

Note 4

This appears on the LP: Portway Pedlars [Len and Barbara Berry]: In the greenwood. Greenwich Village, GVR 229, 1984. Side 1, Track 2. The tune used is that collected from Mr R. Bennell of Oxfordshire.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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