Mudcat Café message #3385457 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146242   Message #3385457
Posted By: theleveller
03-Aug-12 - 03:27 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
Subject: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
I'm just starting some research for a possible book about the British ploughman in social history and would appreciate any songs, poems, books, articles etc. on the subject.

The 'jolly fellows who follow the plough' seem to have held a special place in rural society where the ability to 'hold a straight furrow' whilst ploughing an acre a day was especially valued. In Gray's 'Elegy' he signalled the end of the day; Housman and Edward Thomas bemoan ploughmen killed in the trenches; John Stewart Collis tries to learn the skills in 'The Worm Forgives the Plough'; and in songs and poems they are often depicted as raffish, merry fellows, addicted to drinking and womanising an image of which the ploughman poet himself, Robbie Burns, is a stereotype. It's a subject I find fascinating, probably because my grandfather was a ploughboy at the age of 12, so I'd appreciate any contributions.