“The Gairdner and the Plooman”


A gardner has long courted the girl, "But the blythe blink o the plooman lad Has stown my hairt frae me, me, Has stown my hairt frae me." The singer first saw her love singing "under a bush o' rue." She finally turns to the plooman


This song sometimes is listed as a version of "The Gardener" [Child #219], including by Bronson, who counts one of Grieg's versions there. This is understandable, as the song is very diverse (Bronson himself says that "The Gardener" "rests uneasily in Child's collection. It is both too little of a ballad... and too sophisticated").

Nonetheless, I think they should be separated. "The Gardener" seems to have at its root a dialog involving flowers and courting. This piece mentions a gardener, but he isn't wandering around waving flowers in the girl's face, really, and she has a separate love interest. - RBW


  1. Bronson 219, "The Gardener" (9 versions+3 in addenda, but #1 at least is "The Gairdner and the Plooman")
  2. Ord, p. 94, "The Gairdner and the Ploughman" (1 text)
  3. Roud #339
  4. BI, Ord094


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (Grieg)
Keywords: love courting farming
Found in: Britain(Scotland)