“The Painful Plough”


"Come all you jolly plowmen, of courage stout and bold... To crown them with contentment, behold the painful plow." The gardener and plowman discuss the antiquity of their profession. The plowman wins the argument because the plow makes all else possible


One stanza of this song claims that "Adam was a plowman when plowing first begun." This is not scriptural; on the face of it, Adam was a hunter/gatherer. Cain is correctly identified as a farmer (Genesis 4:2).

The exploits of Samson are in Judges 13-16. Solomon's wisdom is mentioned, e.g., in 1 Kings 3:12 (though in fact 1 Kings devotes more space to his folly than his wisdom). David's slaying of "his ten thousands" is mentioned first in 1 Samuel 18:7.

The exploits of Alexander the Great are not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, though there are several mentions in the Greek Old Testament; in any case, he was well-known to tradition. - RBW


  1. Ord, pp. 222-223, "The Painful Plough" (1 text)
  2. Roud #355
  3. BI, Ord222


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Ord)
Keywords: farming worker
Found in: Britain(Scotland)