The Ploughboy (The Navigators) video
#1490: YouTube video by TheNewfoundlandMusic
©2016 ~ Used with permission ~

I once was a ploughboy
but a soldier I am now,
I courted lovely Molly,
a milkmaid I vow;
I courted lovely Molly,
I delighted in her charms,
And many's a long night
I rolled in her arms,
With me ran-tan-nor
the laddy fol-da-di-doe.

Oh, adieu, lovely Molly,
I now must away,
There's great providence
an' promotion in crossin' the sea;
And if ever I return
it will be in the spring,
When the lark and the linnet
and the nightingale sing,
With me ran-tan-nor
the laddy fol-da-di-doe.

You can go to all the markets,
and gatherings and fairs,
And go to church on Sunday
and choose your love there;
And if anybody loves you
as well as I do,
I won't try to stop your wedding,
love, so fare thee well, adieu,
With me ran-tan-nor
the laddy fol-da-di-doe.

I will build me love a castle
at the head of the town,
Where neither lord, duke or earl
will e'er pull it down;
And if anybody asks you
where you are from,
You can tell them you're a stranger
from the County Tyrone,
With me ran-tan-nor
the laddy fol-da-di-doe.

She sent to me a posy
with a red rose so fine,
I sent her another
with rue mixed with thyme;
Saying, you can keep your red rose
and I will keep my thyme,
And you can drink to your true love
and I will drink to mine,
With me ran-tan-nor
the laddy fol-da-di-doe.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of The Ploughboy, collected in Northern Ireland in 1928 by Sam Henry [1878-1952] and published as #H780, on pp.345-346 in Sam Henry's Songs Of The People, edited, transcribed, and annotated by E Gale Huntingdon [1901-1993]; revised with additions and indices by Lani Herrmann (University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA, 1990) ....####
This variant arranged and recorded by The Navigators (Dance And Sing, trk#5, 2002, produced by The Navigators and Spencer Crewe, recorded at Audio Lab on Great Big Gear, Trademark Distribution, St John's, NL).

See more songs by The Navigators.

An Irish rebel parody titled The Merry Ploughboy was written by Dominic Behan and arranged and recorded as Merry Ploughboy by Johnny McEvoy.

Many traditional English folk songs use a red rose to symbolise love or "I love you". Likewise, rue is often paired with thyme: thyme used to symbolise virginity, and rue the regret supposed to follow its loss.


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