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The Farmer's Boy

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Place Collected: Stanton
Date collected: 17th November 1907
Collector: Grainger, Percy
Roud Number: 408

If a country singer only knows one song, it is this one, and most people in England can sing at least the chorus. The song reeks of Victorian sentimentality but its very singability has ensured that it continues in oral circulation. It can certainly be dated to the first half of the 19th century and was often printed on broadsides. Nearly all versions these days are to the same familiar tune, as is the case with Mr Newman, but other Gloucestershire singers, such as Mr Lane of Cheltenham had a distinctive and possibly older tune. It has been collected all over England and even in Canada and the USA.

Notes by Gwilym Davies 28 March 2015