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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleFaithful plough
Roud No.355
Collected FromHarris, Richard
LocationOaksey
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 430
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 30th October, 1915, p 2, Part 5, No. 11: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 242, 243: Wiltshire Times 21st January 1928 p 5
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Come all you jolly plough men, of courage stout and bold,
That labour all the winter through the stormy winds and cold;
For to clothe your fields with plenty, and your farmyards to renew,
That bread may not be wanted, we must use the faithful plough.

Verse 2

Says the ploughman to the gardener, 'Count not your trade as ours,
But walk the curious borders and look upon your flowers;
If it hadn't been for the plough man, both rich and poor would rue,
For they are all dependent upon the faithful plough.

Verse 3

Now Adam was a plough man, when ploughing first begun,
And the next that did succeed him was Cain, his eldest son;
Some of this generation the calling now pursue,
For we are all dependent upon the faithful plough.

Verse 4

Samson was a strong man, and Solomon was wise,
Alexander for to conquer was all that we do prize;
King David was a valiant man, and many thousand slew,
Yet none of these great heroes could live without the plough.

Verse 5

I hope that those who hear this will hold to what is true,
For we cannot sail the ocean wide without the faithful plough;
For they must have beer and biscuits, plum puddings, flour and peas,
For to feed the jolly sailors that plough the raging seas.

Verse 6

I hope there's none offended, now, with me for singing this,
For it never was intended to be anything amiss;
If you consider it rightly, you'll find that it is true,
For all the trades I've mentioned depend upon the plough.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms: ĎA very old agricultural song. Obtained of Richard Harris, Oaksey. I have not met with it anywhere else in the Valley.í

Williams, Alfred: WGS: ĎA very old agricultural song. Obtained of Richard Harris, late of Oaksey. I have not met with it anywhere else in the Valley.í

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: ĎA very old agricultural song. Obtained of Richard Harris, Oaksey.í

Note 2

There is a second sheet in the file in the same hand as Betsy and Mary Wt 429 so it may be that of Richard Harris. The line structure differs and there are some textual differences:

Verse 1

Come all you jolly plough men
Of courage stout and bold,
That labour all the winter
Through the stormy winds and cold;
For to clothe your fields with plenty
And your farmyards to renew,
That bread may not be want
We must use the faithful plough.

Verse 2

Says the ploughman to the gardener
Count not your trade as mine
But walk the curious borders
And count upon your flowers;
For if it hadnít been for the ploughman
Both rich and poor would rue,
For all the folks dependents
Depend upon the plough.

Verse 3

Now Adam was a ploughman
When ploughing first begun,
And the next that did succeed
Him was Cain, his eldest son.
Some of his generations
At the College did pursue
For all the folks dependents
That depend upon plough.

Verse 4

Samson was a strong man
And Solomon was wise,
Alexander for to conquer
Was all that we do prize;
King David was a valiant man
And many thousand slew,
Yet none of these great heroes
That could do without the plough.

Verse 5

I hope that those who hear this
Will hold to what is true,
For we cannot sail the ocean wide
Without the faithful plough;
For they must have beer and biscuits
Plum puddings, flour and peas,
For to feed the jolly sailors
That plough the raging seas.

Verse 6

I hope thereís no one offended now
By me a singing this
For it never was intended
To be owt amiss;
If you consider it rightly
Youíll find that it is true,
For all the trades Iíve mentioned
Depends upon the plough.

Note 3

In an article on Plough Monday in the Wiltshire Times in 1928 Williams includes the following verse:

Verse 1

ďCome all you jolly ploughmen, of courage stout and bold,
That laboured all the winter through the stormy winds and cold;
For to clothe your fields with plenty, and your farmyards to renew,
That bread may not be wanted we must use the faithful plough.Ē

There are minor textual differences between the two texts, so either Williams didnít transcribe from his own notes correctly, or maybe he was working from memory, the living tradition inaction.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.

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