“The Boy on the Land”


Little boy, working on the land, is given an old coat, "old stiff collar button'd to the throat." Second, he's given an old gun; "Sometimes she gave fire, sometimes she gave smoke, She gave my shoulder the devil's own poke"


This is a conundreum; from the fragmentary text it's not clear whether the boy gets the coat and gun for his agricultural work or because he's been conscripted into the army. If the latter, just possibly "The Kerry Recruit" is related, but it's all very tenuous. - PJS

Roud in fact lumps them, but until we find some sort of substantial version, it will be hard to prove either way. - RBW

Cross references


  1. SharpAp 164, "The Boy on the Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, ShAp2164


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1917 (Cecil Sharp collection)
Keywords: farming work worker
Found in: US(Ap)