Is my team ploughing

Is My Team Ploughing | Day 272

“Is My Team Ploughing”, a haunting poem by Alfred Edward Housman was set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, the version I did under the overpass.

Is my team ploughingIs My Team Ploughing is the third song in the cycle “On Wenlock Edge” created by Vaughan Williams and is my favorite version of this song. The story is of a man who has gone off to war, died and his ghost comes back to ask his friend about how things are going. The friend assures him that things are not only going well, but better since his departure. The climax of the piece comes about when the spirit asks his friend if he sleeps in a better place than where he is now, and his friend reassures him that he shares his bed “cheering” a dead man’s sweetheart. I think we get the gist. The original composition was originally for a piano quintet with Tenor, but other arrangements have this as a full symphony with solo voice. I find that the symphony adds a color and depth to not only this piece, but all the songs in this fantastic song cycle.

Performing this song really brought to mind a dream I had long ago. I see myself singing beautiful songs with a full orchestra and doing this across the world. I also see myself singing recitals in smaller halls and private homes like what was done back in the romantic period. I was born to do this, but alas,..I’ll have to settle for the overpass as my concert hall.

Only 93 days left…


“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.

Song requests:
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You can follow / catch up, make song requests and help support this odyssey at the links above. I will keep this GoFundMe cause open throughout the year and close it out once this is over and present the check to the shelter where it will help a lot of critters. Check out the critters at

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