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Songs

The plough boy

by Benjamin Britten

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Text

The plough boy
English source: Anon.

A flaxen-headed cowboy, as simple as may be,
And next a merry plough boy, I whistled o’er the lea;
But now a saucy footman, I strut in worsted lace,
And soon I'll be a butler, and whey my jolly face.
When steward I’m promoted I’ll snip the tradesmen’s bill,
My master’s coffers empty, my pockets for to fill.
When lolling in my chariot so great a man I’ll be,
You’ll forget the little plough boy who whistled o’er the lea.

I’ll buy votes at elections, and when I’ve made the pelf,
I’ll stand poll for the parliament, and then vote in myself.
Whatever’s good for me, sir, I never will oppose:
When all my ayes are sold off, why then I'll sell my noes.

I’ll joke, harangue and paragraph, with speeches charm the ear,
And when I’m tired on my legs, then I’ll sit down a peer.
In court or city honour so great a man I’ll be,
You'll forget the little plough boy who whistled o’er the lea.

Composer

Benjamin Britten

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music,…

Poet

Performances

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