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
KEYWORDS: farming nonsense paradox
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All))
REFERENCES (14 citations):
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 221-222, "Holly and Ivy" (1 text) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 479)
Palmer-FolkSongsCollectedBy-Ralph-VaughanWilliams, #116, An Acre of Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 300, "My Father Had an Acre of Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 703, "Sing Holly, Sing Ivy"; Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Ox 273, "Sing Holly, Sing Ivy" (2 texts)
Hamer-GreenGroves, p. 27, "Evie and Ivy (Acre of Land)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cologne/Morrison-WiltshireFolkSongs, pp. 22-23, "An Acre of Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 120, "Sing Ovy, Sing Ivy" (1 text)
Copper-ASongForEverySeason, pp. 206-207, "Heigh-ho, Sing Ivy" (1 text, 1 tune)
OShaughnessy-MoreFolkSongsFromLincolnshire 1, "An Acre o' Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardham-EastRidingSongster 7, 8, pp. 11-12, 44-45, "An Acre of Land" (5 texts, 2 tunes; the first four texts are "My Father Hand an Acre of Land" but the fifth text, on p. 45, is "The Elfin Knight" [Child 2])
Flanders-AncientBalladsTraditionallySungInNewEngland1, 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/Opie-OxfordDictionaryOfNurseryRhymes 158, "My father left me three acres of land" (1 text)
Jack-PopGoesTheWeasel, p. 210, "Three Acres of Land" (1 text)
Delamar-ChildrensCountingOutRhymes, pp. 97-98, "Three Acres of Land" (1 text)

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

cf. "The Elfin Knight" [Child 2] (theme)
The Team of Rats
Sing Ivy
Sing Ovy, Sing Ivy
NOTES [62 words]: 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 6.4
File: K300

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.