> Silly Sisters > Songs > Hedger and Ditcher

My Father's a (Hedger and Ditcher)

[ Roud 846 ; G/D 3:571 ; Ballad Index BrII185 ; Bodleian Roud 846 ; Wiltshire Roud 846 ; trad.]

Mary Ann Carolan sang My Father's a Hedger and Ditcher in her home in Hill o' Rath, Co. Louth on 1978. This recording was included in 1982 on her Topic album Songs from the Irish Tradition and in 1998 on the Topic anthology There Is a Man Upon the Farm (The Voice of the People Volume 20).

The Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior and June Tabor) learned the song from Mary Ann Carolan's singing and recorded it for their second album, No More to the Dance. They were accompanied by Dan Ar Braz, guitar; Huw Warren, keyboards; Jim Sutherland, percussion; Paul James, soprano saxophone, half-long bagpipes; Nigel Eaton, hurdy-gurdy; Andrew Cronshaw, concertina.

Lyrics

The Silly Sisters sing Hedger and Ditcher

My father's a hedger and ditcher
My mother does nothing but spin
They say I'm a pretty young girl
But the money comes slowly in

Chorus:
Oh dear, what shall become of me
Oh dear, what shall I do
There's nobody coming to marry me
Nobody coming to woo

The doggie began to bark
And I looked out to see
I saw two young men out a-hunting
But nobody's hunting for me

Chorus

Oh, must I die an old maid
Oh dear, how shocking the thought
There's nobody coming to marry me
Surely it's not me own fault

My father's a hedger and ditcher
My mother does nothing but spin
They say I'm a pretty young girl
But the money comes slowly in

Chorus