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The Ploughboy
(Roud 2938)
Ollie Conway
Mullagh
Recorded in Conway’s Bar, Mullagh, September 1973

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Ollie Conway and JJ Lenihan

There was a fair maid in the old country.
Sweet hearts she had many of every degree.
She rode in great splendour and she was free from all care
Till her father's own ploughboy did her heart ensnare.

One day as she rambled through her father's domain,
While Willie the ploughboy was ploughing the plain.
He whistled so sweetly, that the woods did resound,
And the birds on the brambles sat silent all round.

So, quietly she watched him from under a shade,
It was on her ploughboy that she all the while gazed.
Her cheeks blushed like the roses as these words she did say,
"You have been on my mind love, this many a day."

"Your plough you'll give over, and that very soon.
And we'll go to America and we'll plough the deep main.
We'll go to America where thousands do go.
I will follow my own ploughboy wherever he goes."

“Despite the popularity of this theme of lovers fleeing the disapproval of parents by emigrating, in this case the daughter of a wealthy farmer and a ploughboy, we were surprised to find only two versions of this particular song; one from John Maguire of Fermanagh (1973) and a version from Dolly McMahon, recorded by Seamus Ennis for the BBC in 1960. Perhaps not coincidentally, Dolly was recorded at a public session in Quilty, a few miles from both Ollie Conway’s and Michael Falsey’s homes, so it is possible that both or either of them heard it and learned it then.”
Jim Carroll

See also
The Ploughboy sung by Michael Falsey
Willie the Ploughboy sung by John Lyons


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