The Jolly Plough Boys

The song collector Cecil Sharp said of this song, “I find that almost every singer knows it; the bad singers often know but little else.” It’s a broadside ballad published by Henry Such of the Borough, London. The song may have originated in Somerset, but this is uncertain. Here’s a melancholy version by Kate Rusby.

Alternate titles: The Ploughboy; We’re All Jolly Fellows That Follow the Plough

The Jolly Plough Boys

‘Twas early one mornin’, at the break of the day
The cocks they were crowing and the farmer did say,
Rise up my jollw fellows, arise with good will,
Your horses want something their bellies to fill.

When four o’clock came me boys, it’s up we did rise,
And off to the stable we merrily flies
With a rubbin’ and a-scrubbin’ our horses we’ll go,
For we’re all jolly fellows what follers the plough

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I Courted a Sailor

One of my favorites from Kate Rusby. I’m always fooled into thinking her songs are traditional in origin. This is a great example.

I Courted a Sailor

I courted a sailor for six months and many,
I courted a sailor, now he’s far from me.
I courted a sailor for six months and many,
I courted a sailor, now he’s far from me.
On a fine summer’s evening he said his heart was grieving
On a fine summer’s evening these words he said to me

CHORUS
Oh I’m bound for the waves, the waves dearest Annie,
I’m bound for the waves, the waves upon the sea.
Oh I’m bound for the waves, the waves dearest Annie,
I’m bound for the waves, the captain calleth me.

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As I Roved Out (2)

Here’s another As I Rode Out in lovely performance by Kate Rusby with Cathy Jordan and the band Dervish. This version was made famous by Plantxy in 1073 and supposedly comes from the singing of the great Paddy Tunny.

We learned this sad and beautiful song from the singing of Paddy Tunney who lives in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. He has described it as dating back to the days of the famine, when any bit of property at all was enough to tempt a man to jilt his true love in favour of the lassie with the land. – Andy Irvine

As I Roved Out

As I roved out on a fine May morning
To view the meadows and flowers gay,
Who should I spy but my own true lover
As she sat under yon willow tree.

I took off my hat and I did salute her,
I did salute her most courageously.
When she turned around, well the tears fell from her,
Sayin’, “False young man, you have deluded me!

“A diamond ring I owned I gave you,
A diamond ring to wear on your right hand.
But the vows you made, love, you went and broke them
And married the lassie that had the land.”

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