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The Farmer's Boy / To Be A Farmer's Boy

To Be A Farmer's Boy/The Farmer's Boy

 

To Be A Farmer’s Boy (Or The Farmer’s Boy) is in The Full English Chorus Songs Pack, and the Seven Songs of Harvest pack for primary schools.  You can download both packs from the PDF tab at the top of the panel, and listen to an Audio download from the audio tab at the top of this panel.

To Be A Farmer’s Boy (Or The Farmer’s Boy) evokes a hugely sentimental image of a rural past, where hard work on a farm is every bit as heroic as the career of a story book knight, with the wandering child growing up to get the farm and the girl as a result of his steadfast nature and hard work. It appears as a 19th Century broadside called the Lucky Farmer Boy which was collected by both Cecil Sharp and Frank Kidson and appears to have caught the ear of the general population, turning up a number of times with singers around the country. Many songs echo these sentiments and it is an old fashioned British equivalent of the ‘American Dream’ model – that anyone can achieve their modest dreams by hard work and persistence.

This was once the closing song of The National Folk Festival, England, where all the attendees would join in the choruses to bring the festival to a close.

 

The Farmer's Boy is in The Full English Folk Chorus Songs Pack.  One type of song that has remained popular across English speaking traditions is the chorus song.  These are often led by one singer (in a pub, for example) with the community joining in with the repeated chorus, refrain or burden. This can be simple unison or improvised harmonies of varying levels of complexity. You can hear (and join in with) chorus songs in many folk clubs, singarounds, concerts and festivals.

 

The The Full English Folk Chorus Songs Pack is available from the PDF tab at the top of this panel, and contains some well-known chorus songs to provide some starting points for social singing from The Full English digital archive. Due to their popularity many of these songs are geographically widespread and may appear in many versions with all kinds of variation in words and melody. An Audio recording of this song is available for free download from the Audio tab at the top of the panel. It has been recorded by Ben Moss and Laurel Swift (www.benandlaurel.com).

 

The other songs in the pack are:

- The Barley Mow (Harry Albino Collection)

- The Sweet Nightingale (Sabine Baring Gould Collection)

- Fathom The Bowl (Clive Carey Collection)

- Young Banker (Percy Grainger/Frank Kidson Collections)

- Pleasant and Delightful (Collinson Collection)

- Abroad For Pleasure (Lucy Broadwood Collection)

 

More videos

  • Audio 01: The Farmer's Boy - Ben Moss and Laurel Swift

    Download: mp3(4.04MB) ogg(4.98MB)

Digital Archive records related to this item

Note that these links take you to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website which holds the full archival details of the material. Material on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website is not censored or expurgated and may contain material considered offensive by modern standards.

Maps on the Full English site related to this item

Note that these links take you to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website which holds the full archival details of the material. Material on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website is not censored or expurgated and may contain material considered offensive by modern standards.