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Come all you gay ploughboys, come help me to sing,
I will sing in the praise of you all.
And if we don't labour, how can we get bread,
We will sing and be merry withal.

O there was two brethren, two brethrens born,
Its there was two b[rethrens] born.
O its one was a shepherd, a tender of sheep,
And the other a planter of corn.

There is April, there is May, there is June and July,
What a pleasure to see the corn grow.
And when August draws nigh, we will reap sheaves and tie,
Go down with our scythes for to mow.

O its when we had mowed and reaped every sheaf,
We will carry it safe to the barn,
We will make no more to do, but to ploughing we'll go,
And provide for the very next year.

Then at night we retire thro' clods and thro' clay.
No comfort at all can we find.
We will sit down and sing, and drive away care,
We will leave this wide world to repine.

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Source: M Dawney, The Ploughboy's Glory, EFDSS, 1977

Part of the Butterworth collection (IV 261-262; V1a 61; VIIc, 86.) Sung by Mr Knight, Horsham, April 1907.

Micheal Dawney wrote:

The pitch in V1a, 61 was of G; in VIIc, 86 of Bflat; words and music of the first stanza fitted together by the editor. The song is also known as 'The Lark in the Morn' or 'The Painful Plough', of which there are many versions in Sharp (1974). A version entitled 'The Painful Plough' appears in Broadwood (1983) and entitles 'The Ploughboy' in Williams (1923).

To this can be added the Copper version, 'Two Brethren'. Several commentators have suggested that the two brethren referred to are Cain and Abel (Genesis 4 v2: "Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil.")

Roud: 202 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

Related Songs:  The Jolly Plough Boy (thematic) The Jolly Ploughboy (thematic)

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