The Low-Back'd Car
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This song was composed by Samuel Lover (1797-1868). In addition to being a singer and songwriter, Lover was a novelist and a painter.

The tune is said to be a variant of the English folksong, The Jolly Ploughboy.

Lover was also the grandfather of Victor Herbert.

When first I saw sweet Peggy,
'Twas on a market day,
A low-back'd car she drove,
And sat upon a truss of hay;
But when that hay was blooming grass,
And deck'd with flowers of Spring,
No flow'r was there that could compare
With the blooming girl I sing!
As she sat in her low-back'd car -
The man at the turnpike bar
Never ask'd for the toll,
But just rubb'd his ould poll
And look'd after the low-backed car.

In battle's wild commotion,
The proud and mighty Mars,
With hostile scythes, demands his tithes
Of death - in warlike cars;
While Peggy, peaceful goddess,
Has darts in her bright eye,
That knock men down, in the market town,
As right and left they fly -
While she sits in her low-back'd car,
Than battle more dangerous far -
For the doctor's art,
Cannot cure the heart
That is hit from that low-back'd car.

Sweet Peggy round her car, sir
Has strings of ducks and geese,
But the scores of hearts she slaughters,
By far outnumber these;
While she among her poultry sits,
Just like a turtle dove
Well worth the cage, I do engage,
Of the blooming god of Love!
While she sits in her low-back'd car,
The lovers come near and far,
And envy the chicken, that Peggy is pickin'
While she sits in her low-back'd car.

I'd rather own that car, sir!
With Peggy by my side,
Than a coach and four, and gold galore
And a lady for my bride.
For the lady would sit fornisnt me,
On a cushion made with taste,
While Peggy would sit beside me,
With my arm around her waist.
As we drove in the low-back'd car,
To be married by Father Maher,
Oh, my heart would beat high
At her glance and her sigh,
Tho' it beat in a low-back'd car.

Related Links
From Burl Ives Irish Songs
See Bibliography for full information.