There are many different versions of The Bonny Labouring Boy. This version of the song was collected by Colm O Lochlainn.
My Bonny Labouring Boy Lyrics
As I roved out one morning, all in the blooming Spring
I overheard a damsel fair most grievously did sing,
Saying “Cruel were my parents who me did sore annoy
They would not let me tarry with my bonny Irish boy.
His cheeks are like the roses red, his eyes are black as sloes,
He is meek in his behaviour wherever that he goes.
He is well sized both neat and wise like a maiden’s chastity,
If I had my will I would be still in my love’s company.
Says the mother to her daughter, “Why do you stoop so low,
To marry a poor labouring boy, around the world to go?
Some noble lord might fancy you – great riches to enjoy,
So do not throw yourself away on a poor labouring boy.”
Says the daughter to the mother, “Your talk is all in vain,
For knights, and lords, and dukes, and earls – their efforts I disdain.
I’d sooner live a humble life where time I would employ,
Still waiting happy prospects with my bonny labouring boy.”
“If I had all the riches now which great men have in store,
‘Tis freely I’d bestow them all on the lad that I adore;
His beauty so entangled me – the same I’ll ne’er deny,
In the arms of my labouring boy I mean to live and die.”
We’ll fill our glasses to the brim and let the toast go round,
Here’s health to every labouring boy that ploughs and sows the ground,
Who, when his work is over, it is home he’ll go with joy,
And happy is the girl that weds the bonny labouring boy.