In the heat of the day what a little we can do!
We lay by the plough for an hour or two,
On the banks of sweet violets where we take our rest
While the cool stormy winds blow around us so fast.
If the farmer has no corn, no corn can he sow,
Then the miller has no work for his mill also,
And the baker has no bread for the poor to provide.
If the plough should stand still we should all starve alive.
And now to conclude, my song must here have an end,
I hope the little ploughboy won’t ever need a friend.
Here’s health unto the ploughboy wherever he may be,
Here’s health to the ploughboy and God save the Queen.
Click to open downloadable pdf of score: The Plough Boy- Frank Rowe
Audio file of the Ploughboy sung at the Fal Folk Club, 1978
Versions of this song were also collected by W. Arthur Pascoe in 1870 (Old Cornwall Society Journal 1928) and Sabine Baring Gould in 1891. Versions were published by Ralph Dunstan in Lyver CAnow Kernewek / The Cornish Song Book, 1929 and in Inglis Gundry’s Canow Kernow in 1966. Dunstan’s tune was adopted into Cornish instrumental tradition as a waltz and appears in the Racca Project 1995/97. Click for pdf with detailed notes: Oxen Ploughing – Warleggan Plough Boy