Come all you jolly plough boys and listen to me,
I'll sing in the praise of you all,
For if we don't labour how shall we get bread?
Let's sing and be merry withal.
Here's April, here's May, here's June and July,
What pleasure to see the corn grow,
In August we moil it, we reap, sheath and tie,
And go down with our scythes for to mow.
Then when we have laboured and reaped ev'ry sheaf,
And glean-ed up every ear,
We'll make no more to-do but to plough we will go,
To provide for the very next year.
abc | midi | pdf
Source: Cyril Winn, A Selection of some less known Folk-Songs, Vol 2, Novello.
No date or ISBN is available for this book. The song was collected by Vaughan Williams, but no further information was provided.
The following quotation is from www.contemplator.com:
The Pretty Ploughboy was printed on a broadside by Burbage and Stretton sometime between 1797 and 1807. It appeared on numerous broadsides throughout the 19th century. Several of these can be found at the Bodleian Library.
W. Percy Merrick collected a version of The Pretty Ploughboy in Sussex. The version collected was incomplete and was supplemented by verses from broadsides and versions collected by others. The arrangement is by R. Vaughan Williams.
The song was also known as The Jolly Ploughboy, The Simple Ploughboy and Little Plowing Boy. It was collected by Rev. S. Baring-Gould and others throughout England. It was also collected in Scotland, Limerick, North Carolina, Virginia and Nova Scotia.
Roud: 202 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Related Songs: Ploughboy's Glory (thematic)