Roving Ploughboy, The
DESCRIPTION: The singer asks that her horse be saddled so she can follow the ploughboy. After sleeping last night "on a fine feather bed," she will sleep tonight in a barn in his arms. She says none can compare with him, and bids her home farewell
EARLIEST DATE: 1953 (Kennedy)
KEYWORDS: love elopement worker farming farewell
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Kennedy 260, "The Roving Ploughboy-O" (1 text, 1 tune)
John MacDonald, "The Roving Ploughboy-O" (on FSB3)
cf. "The Gypsy Laddie" [Child 200] (theme, lyrics, tune)
NOTES: Paul Stamler suggests that this is a version (or, perhaps more correctly, a fragment) of "The Gypsy Laddie," and it's true that about half the lyrics appear in that song, and the general theme is the same, and there are similarities in the tune as well.
But the song seems to have circulated independently, and the key element of "The Gypsy Laddie" is missing: there is no sign of the wife abandoning her husband, or of him pursuing. Allowing the strong possibility that this is a fragment of the longer ballad, I still incline to split them.
Kennedy associates this with Ord's "The Collier Laddie." That strikes me as much more of a stretch. - RBW
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