'Twas on a jolly summer's morn, the twenty first of May,
Giles Scroggins took his turmut hoe, with which he trudged away
For some delights in haymakin'. and some they fancies mowin',
But of all the trades as I likes best, give I the turmut hoein'.
For the fly, the fly, the fly is on the turmut;
And it's all my eye for we to try, to keep fly off the turmut.
Now the first place as I went to work, it was at Farmer Tower's,
He vowed and sweared and then declared, I were a first-rate hoer,
Now the next place as I went to work, I took it by the job
But if I'd ha' knowed it a little afore, I'd sooner been in quod.
When I was over at yonder farm, the sent for I a-mowin,
But I sent word back I'd sooner have the sack, than lose my turmut-hoein',
Now all you jolly farming lads as bides at home so warm.
I now concludes my ditty with wishing you no harm.
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Source: Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
Words and tune from Mr R. Bennell.
The song is listed under "Oxfordshire", but Lucy Broadwood remarked "This is a favourite song among soldiers, and is popular in many counties".
Roud: 1376 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six