Jack the Jolly Ploughboy

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X:1 T:Jolly Ploughman [3], The M:6/8 L:1/8 R:Air N:”Very ancient, author and date unknown.” B:Bunting – Ancient Music of Ireland (1840, p. 20) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:E E|E2G G2B|A3 F2B|E2G B2B|B3-B2G| A2A F2F|G3 E2E|F2F D2D|E3-E2:| B|B2e e2c|c2B B2G|B2 e e2c|c3-B2B| B2e e2c|c2B B2G|(GF)E F2G|(B2A)G2F| P:"Chorus" ECB, (E2E)|E3-E2G|FEC F2F|F3-(FG)A| (.B.A.G) (.B.A.G)|(.e.e.B) {d}(.c.B.G)|(.E.C.B,) E2E|E3-E2||

JACK THE JOLLY PLOUGHBOY. AKA and see "Jolly Ploughman (3) (The)," "Low-Back Car (2) (The)/Low-Backed Car (2) (The)," "To Rodney We Will Go," "Farewell--but whenever you welcome the hour," "Drop of Dram (The)." Irish, Air (6/8 time). E Major (Bunting, Haverty): C Major (Forde). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Forde): AAB (Bunting, Haverty). O'Sullivan (1983) finds the earliest printing of this air in Glasgow publisher James Aird's Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, volume III (1788), p. 160, under the title "To Rodney we will go," and notes Moore used the melody for his song "Farewell--but whenever you welcome the hour" (he believes Moore's source for the tune to have been "Drop of Dram (The)" in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion, book IV). Moffat prints the song in his Minstrelsy of Ireland, pp. 12-13, to an identical tune as Bunting (1840). Samuel Lover's best-known song, "The Low-Back'd Car," uses the melody. Further, O'Sullivan finds variants of the melody in Baring-Gould's Folk Songs of the West Country as "A Hunting we will go" (p. 12) and in Moeran's Six Suffolk Folk Songs as "Nutting Song," and in fact it has melodic similarities to the English tune "Nutting Girl."

Edward Bunting (1840) printed this lyric with the tune:

‘Twas Jack the jolly ploughboy, was ploughing in his land,
Cried yough unto his horses and boldly bid them stand.
Then Jack sat down upon his plough and thus began to sing,
And Jack he sung his song so sweet he made the valley ring.

With his Too-ran-nan-nanty na, sing
Too-ran-nan-nanty na, sing
Too-ran-nan, Too-ran-nan,
Too-ran-nan, Too-ran-nan,
Too-ran-nan nanty na.

Additional notes
Source for notated version : - noted by the Irish collector Edward Bunting from the playing of harper J. Duncan in 1792.

Printed sources : - Bunting (Ancient Music of Ireland), 1840; p. 20. William Forde (300 National Melodies of the British Isles), c. 1841; p. 27, No. 89. P.M. Haverty (One Hundred Irish Airs vol. 1), 1858; No. 67, p. 29. O'Sullivan/Bunting, 1983; No. 23, pp. 38-39.

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