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The Ploughboy
(Roud 2938)
Michael Falsey
Seafield, Quilty
Recorded in Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie's home outside Miltown Malbay, April 2007

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Michael Falsey and Junior Crehan

There was a rich lady in the west country,
Sweethearts she had plenty of every degree;
She had land and riches and was free from all care,
Till her father’s young ploughboy her heart did ensnare.

One day as she strolled round her father’s domain,
Where Willie the ploughboy was ploughing the plain;
He won her completely as he sang a song,
To cheer up the horses as they ploughed along.

She closely did watch him from under a shade,
‘Twas on the young ploughboy she constantly gazed;
He whistled so sweetly that the hills did resound,
And the birds on the bushes were silent all round.

She called on the ploughboy to rest for a while,
He turned to greet her with a nod and a smile.
And as he came to her to him she did say:
“You are deep in my thoughts love, by night and by day."

"You’ll give over your ploughing before very long,
We’ll go to America and plough the wild foam;
We’ll go to America where thousands do go,
And I’ll be true to my ploughboy wherever we go.”


Michael Falsey talks to Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie about Pádraig O’Duffy's song 'The Ploughboy’

“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 Ollie Conway
Willie the Ploughboy sung by John Lyons

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