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"Is my team ploughing, That I was used to drive And hear the harness jingle When I was man alive?" Ay, the horses trample, The harness jingles now; No change though you lie under The land you used to plough. "Is football playing Along the river-shore, With lads to chase the leather, Now I stand up no more?" Ay, the ball is flying, The lads play heart and soul; The goal stands up, the keeper Stands up to keep the goal. "Is my girl happy, That I thought hard to leave, And has she tired of weeping As she lies down at eve?" Ay, she lies down lightly, She lies not down to weep: Your girl is well contented. Be still, my lad, and sleep. "Is my friend hearty, Now I am thin and pine, And has he found to sleep in A better bed than mine?" Yes, lad, I lie easy, I lie as lads would choose; I cheer a dead man's sweetheart, Never ask me whose.
R. Vaughan Williams sets stanzas 1-2, 5-8
About the headline (FAQ)
- by Alfred Edward Housman (1859 - 1936), no title, appears in A Shropshire Lad, no. 27, first published 1896 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):
- by Benjamin Burrows (1891 - 1966), "Is my team ploughing", 1927 [ voice and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by George Sainton Kaye Butterworth (1885 - 1916), "Is my team ploughing", published 1911 [ voice and piano ], from Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad, no. 6 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Alfred Redgrave Cripps (1882 - 1950), "Is my team ploughing", published <<1940 [ voice and piano ], from Nine "Shropshire Lad" Songs [sung text not yet checked]
- by Ivor (Bertie) Gurney (1890 - 1937), "Is my team ploughing", 1918, published 1926 [ baritone, string quartet, and piano ], from The Western Playland, no. 6 [sung text not yet checked]
- by Charles Wilfred Orr (1893 - 1976), "Is my team ploughing", published 1925-7 [ tenor and piano ], from Five Songs from "A Shropshire Lad" [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Ned Rorem (1923 - 2022), "Is my team ploughing", 1997, published 1999, from Evidence of Things Not Seen, no. 23 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958), "Is my team ploughing", 1908-9, published 1911, stanzas 1-2, 5-8 [ tenor, piano, and string quartet ad libitum ], from On Wenlock Edge, no. 3 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by John Ramsden Williamson (1929 - 2015), "Is my team ploughing" [ baritone and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , "Mon attelage laboure-t-il ?", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "האם הצמד שלי חורש", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 32
Word count: 168