The Jolly Ploughboy (W Roy Mackenzie)

See also: The Pretty Ploughboy (Kenneth Peacock)

Jack, the jolly ploughboy, was ploughing up his land,
His horses lie beneath the shady tree;
He did whistle, he did sing, caused the valleys for to ring,
His intentions were to court a pretty maid.

When thus her old father the news came to hear,
That his daughter was a courting on the plain,
He rose and oppressed and sent him off to sea,
And sent him to the war to be slain.

She dressed herself up in full sailor's array,
With a sword and bright pistol by her side;
She rode down the street, the tears rolled down her cheeks,
She looked just like a jovial sailor bold.

The first man she met was in sailor's array.
"O where is my ploughboy?" cried she.
"He is in yonder fleet ploughing up the deep,
Pass along, my pretty fair maid, pass along!"

She went to the harbour where'er the fleet did lay,
And thus to the captain did say:
"You have stolen away my ploughboy to send him off to sea,
And sent him to the war to be slain.

"O here, O here is my purse full of gold,
And this I will freely give o'er."
She threw it on the deck, threw her arms around his neck,
And she rowed him in her arms to the shore.

O happy are they when true lovers do meet,
When their troubles, their trials are all o'er;
She did whistle, she did sing, caused the valleys for to ring,
When she gained the love of him whom she adore.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of British broadside ballads, The Jolly Plowboy (Little Plowing Boy; The Simple Plowboy) [Laws M24] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a late 18th-century British broadside ballad, The Pretty Plough Boy, published sometime between 1797 and 1807, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 12(135) ....####
Collected from Mrs James Campbell by William Roy Mackenzie [1883-1957] of River John, Pictou County, NS, and published in Ballads And Sea Songs From Nova Scotia (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1928).

A variant was also collected in 1961 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Mary Ann Galpin [1872-1962] of Codroy, NL, and published as The Pretty Ploughboy in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 1, pp.224-225, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


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