> Tim Hart & Maddy Prior > Songs > The Ploughboy and the Cockney

The Ploughboy and the Cockney

[ Roud 1688 ; Wiltshire 276 ; trad.]

Tim Hart and Maddy Prior sang The Ploughboy and the Cockney in 1971 on their third duo album, Summer Solstice.

Danny Spooner sang The Ploughboy and the Cockney on his 1987 album When a Man's in Love. He noted:

This dates from the seventeenth century when the city of London was bounded by market gardens and farms, and common folk rarely travelled far from home. Here a cockney ‘sparra’ strays into ‘strange country’, (which was prohabiy only a mile or two from where he lived), in order to find a mate; but his ardour is dampened by a right-hander from a country bumpkin prepared to fight for his girl.

Lyrics

Tim Hart and Maddy Prior sing The Ploughboy and the Cockney

It's of a London cockney I now will relate,
𝄆 He went into the country to find himself a mate. 𝄇

He rode and he rode until he came to some public town
𝄆 And there he alighted to drink at the Crown. 𝄇

A beautiful damsel he there did espy
𝄆 Which caused him to tarry and therefore to bide. 𝄇

He said, “My fair damsel, if you will be mine
𝄆 Then all the gold and silver I have shall be thine.” 𝄇

But a ploughboy was standing by and hearin' him say so
𝄆 He said, “Me London cockney, I know what I know. 𝄇

“We shall take up our arrows and go fight in the field,
𝄆 We'll fight a good battle and gain her good will.” 𝄇

And when he said this, he gave him such a blow,
𝄆 “Oh, now me London cockney, you know what I know! 𝄇

“Oh, it never shall be said on all the plough bench
𝄆 That a ploughboy was not willin' to fight for his wench.” 𝄇

“Oh, carry me to London and there let me die,
𝄆 Don't let me die here in a strange country.” 𝄇

Danny Spooner sings The Ploughboy and the Cockney

It's of a London cockney a story I'll relate,
𝄆 He went into the country, to find himself a mate. 𝄇

He rode and he rode 'til he came to a public town,
𝄆 And there he has unlighted and drank at the Crown. 𝄇

A pretty little damosel appeared all in his eyes
𝄆 Which caused him to tarry and there for to bide. 𝄇

He said, “My pretty fair maid, if you will be mine
𝄆 Then all the gold and silver I have shall be thine.” 𝄇

But there was this 'ere ploughboy and he heard him say so,
𝄆 And he said, “Me London cockney, I know what I know. 𝄇

“Oh, we will take up arrows and go to fight in field,
𝄆 And there we'll do great battle to win her good will.” 𝄇

But then this 'ere ploughboy he give him such a blow
𝄆 And said, “Me London cockney, now you know what I know! 𝄇

“Oh never let it be said all on a plough bench
𝄆 That a ploughboy was not willing to fight for his wench.” 𝄇

“Oh carry me to London and there bury me,
𝄆 Please don't let me die in this strange counterie.” 𝄇