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American Ballads and Folk Songs
The one that loved her farmer's son, these words I heard her say: "The reason that I love him, at home with me he'll stay* He'll stay at home in winter, to the shanties he will not go, And when the spring it doth come, his land he'll plow and sow."
"All for to plow and sow your land," the other girl did say. "If the crops should prove a failure, your debts you couldn't pay. If the crops should prove a failure and the grain market be low, The sheriff he will sell you out to pay the debts you owe."
"All for the sheriff selling us out, it doth not me alarm.
You have no need to be in debt when you're on a good farm.
You raise your bread all on your farm; you don't work through storms
of rain, While your shanty-boy must work each day his family to maintain.
"Oh, how you praise your shanty-boy, who off to the woods must go! He's ordered out before daylight to work through storms and snow, Whilst happy and contented my farmer's son doth lie, And tell to me some tales of love while the cold winds whistle by."
"That's the reason I praise the shanty-boy. He goes up early in the fall. He is both stout and hearty, and fit to stand the squall. It's with pleasure I'll receive him in the spring when he comes down3 And his money quite free he'll spend with me when your farmers' sons have none.
"I could not stand those silly words your farmer's son would say. They are so green the cows oft-times have taken them for hay. How easy it is to know them when they come into town! Small boys will run up to them sayin' cMossback, are ye down?'"
"What I said about your shanty-boy, I hope you'll excuse me,
And of my ignorant farmer's son I hope I do get free.
Then if ever I do get a chance, with a shanty-boy I'll go,
And I'll leave poor mossback stay at home his buckwheat for to sow."