The Rich Nobleman and His Daughter
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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This ballad was collected by Lucy Broadwood in Surrey in 1892. It was printed in the Journal of Folksong Society in 1902. It is not related to Rich Nobleman's Daughter referenced by Malcolm Laws in Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold. It's of a rich nobleman lately, we hear;
He had but one daughter, most beautiful, fair;
And she was adored, most beautiful child,
A blooming young damsel that has me beguiled.

Her father being dead, and she at her ease,
To gaze on her work folks did ride in their chaise;
Till at length a young ploughboy came whistling by,
And on this young ploughboy she fixed her eye.

Great raptures of love this young lady did show,
To gaze on his beauty to the fields she did go;
When he whistled so sweetly he made the groves ring,
And his cheeks were like roses that bloom in the Spring.

Then she and her maid, they agreed both to go
And dress themselves up in some regimental clothes,
With broad-sword in hand, they marched through the grove
To press this young ploughboy with a warrant of love.

Then, with this love letter she had in her hand:
Here's an order for sea without more demand!
No cares, and no troubles, great bounty you'll take,
No danger on sea, you your fortune will make!

Then in a close room this young man was confined
Till she changed her dress; then she told him her mind.
Then she like an angel for beauty did appear,
And said I'll prove true to thee, ploughboy so dear.

Now married this loving young couple they were,
In a sweet country life, and free from all care.
No cares and no troubles shall e'er them annoy,
They'll be happily blessed with a fountain of joy.

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