The Wealthy Farmer's Son
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This song is also known as The Honest Ploughman which appeared in Barrett's English Folk-Songs. It was printed on a broadside by Such.

This version was collected by Lucy Broadwood in Sussex in 1893.

Come all you pretty fair maids,
And listen to my song,
While I relate a story
That does to love belong:
'Tis of a blooming damsel
Walked through the fields so gay,
And there she met her true love,
And he unto her did say:

Where are you going, young Nancy,
This morning bright and gay?
Or why do you walk here alone?
Come tell to me, I pray?
I am going to yonder river-side,
Where fishes they do swim,
All for to gather flowers
That grow around the brim.

Be not in haste, young Nancy,
This young man he did say,
And I will bear you company
And guard you on the way,
I live on yonder river-side
Where fishes they do swim,
Where you may gather flowers
That grow around the brim.

Kind Sir, you must excuse me,
This maiden did reply,
I will not walk with any man
Until the day I die;
I have a sweetheart of my own,
And him my heart has won:
He lived in yonder cottage,
A wealthy farmer's son.

And pray what is your lover's name?
He unto her did say,
Though in my tarry trousers,
Perhaps I know him may:
She said, His name is William,
From that Ill never run;
This ring we broke at parting.
He's a wealthy farmer's son.

The ring out of his pocket
He instantly then drew,
Saying, Nancy, here's the parting gift;
One half I left with you.
I have been pressed to sea,
And many a battle won;
But still your heart could ne'er depart
From me, the farmer's son.

When these words she heard him say,
It put her in surprise,
The tear-drops they came trinkling down
From her sparkling eyes.
Oh, soothe your grief!
The young man cried,
The battle you have won,
For Hymen's chains shall bind us-
You, and the farmer's son?

To church, then, went this couple,
And married were with speed.
The village bells they all did ring,
And the girls did dance indeed.
She blessed the happy hour
She in the fields did run,
To seek all for her true love,
The wealthy farmer's son.

Related Links
From English Traditional Songs and Carols
See Bibliography for full information.