My Father Had an Acre of Land

DESCRIPTION: "My father had an acre of land, Hey ho, sing ivy, My father had an acre of land, With a bunch of green holly and ivy." He farmed it in impossible ways: "plowed it with a team of rats," "rolled it with a rolling pin," "thrashed it with a hazel twig"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1842
KEYWORDS: farming nonsense paradox
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All))
REFERENCES (9 citations):
Williams-Thames, pp. 221-222, "Holly and Ivy" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 479)
Kennedy 300, "My Father Had an Acre of Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 703, "Sing Holly, Sing Ivy"; Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 273, "Sing Holly, Sing Ivy" (2 texts)
Reeves-Circle 120, "Sing Ovy, Sing Ivy" (1 text)
CopperSeason, pp. 206-207, "Heigh-ho, Sing Ivy" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-Lincolnshire 1, "An Acre o' Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders-Ancient1, pp. 51-78, "The Elfin Knight' (12 texts plus 3 fragments, not all from New England; 8 tunes; mostly of Child #2, but the "N" text, which has no tune, appears to be this song)
Opie-Oxford2 158, "My father left me three acres of land" (1 text)
Jack, p. 210, "Three Acres of Land" (1 text)

Roud #21093
RECORDINGS:
Bob & Ron Copper, "My Father Had an Acre of Land" (on FSB4)
Charlie Potter, "Sing Ivy" (on Voice14)
Tony Wales, "Sing Ivy" (on TWales1)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Elfin Knight" [Child 2] (theme)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Team of Rats
Sing Ivy
Sing Ovy, Sing Ivy
NOTES: This song is sometimes listed as a variant of "The Elfin Knight" [Child 2], and in fact they share many ideas and some lyrics. However, the crucial element of "The Elfin Knight" is the dialog, whereas this is a song of impossible deeds. The should be kept separate.
For the juxtaposition, and possible rivalry, of holly and ivy, see the notes to "The Holly and the Ivy." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
File: K300

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