Ploughman Laddie (The)

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PLOUGHMAN LADDIE, THE. Scottish, Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Aberdeenshire fiddler-composer Alexander Walker. The ploughman is the protagonist or subject in a great many folk-songs, so much so that the motif is sometimes referred to as the 'ploughman minstrelsy'. Walker's title for his reel was perhaps inspired by poet Robert Burns' song "The Ploughman" (set to the tune "Up wi' the Ploughman"), which incorporates verses from an older, bawdier, song (found in David Herd's Ancient and Modern Scotish Songs, 1769). Burns' verses begin:

The ploughman he's a bonnie lad,
His mind is ever true, jo;
His garters knit below his knee,
His bonnet it is blue, jo.

Then up wi' my ploughman lad,
And hey my merry ploughman!
O a' the trades that I do ken,
Commend me to the ploughman.

or perhaps from Lawrence Barclay's song "The Ploughman Laddie" (set to Niel Gow's "Farewell to Whiskey (1)") which begins:

Should ere the wind o' fortune blaw,
A bonny laddie to my fa',
Commend to me aboon them a',
The canty ploughman laddie, O!

Cho:
Fair fa' the ploughman, sonsy chield,
At gloamin' whan his yokin's til'd,
He comes hame whistlin' frae the field,
My canty ploughman laddie, O!

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Walker (A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Marches, &c.), 1866; No. 152, p. 51.

Recorded sources:




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