Ploughboy's Dream, The
DESCRIPTION: The singer, a ploughboy, recalls a dream: he tries unsuccessfully to plow hard ground and curses and beats his horses; an angel stops him warning "there's One that knows your crimes and sins." He warns other ploughboy lads to "let kindness your motto be"
AUTHOR: William Mason (source: broadside Bodleian Harding B 7(44))
EARLIEST DATE: 1795 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 7(44))
KEYWORDS: warning abuse farming dream religious horse
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber)) Britain(England(Lond))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Greig #54, pp. 1-2, "The Ploughboy's Dream" (1 text)
GreigDuncan3 491, "The Ploughboy's Dream" (1 text, 1 tune)
VaughanWilliams/Palmer, #94, "The Ploughboy's Dream" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Harding B 7(44), "The Plow-boy's Dream" ("I am a plow-boy stout and strong"), J. Marshall (London), 1795; also Harding B 11(3032), "The Ploughboy's Dream"
NOTES: This is surely a rewrite of the story of Balaam's Ass, applied to a farmer's situation. In Numbers 22:22-35, Balaam has been hired by the King of Moab to try to curse Israel. On the way, the donkey first turns off into a field, then crushes Balaam's foot against a rock, then stop still in the middle of the path. Balaam each time strikes it, but on the third time the donkey speaks, and an angel tells Balaam that the donkey had kept him from being killed by the angel. Balaam repents of his treatment of the donkey. The song lacks the incident of the horses talking, but the rest -- including the moral against sinning -- is the same. - RBW
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