“The Constant Farmer's Son”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1845 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3995))
Keywords: homicide family
Found in: Britain(England(South)) US(MA,MW) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland


Her parents consent to let their daughter marry a farmer, but her brothers will not agree. The brothers take the farmer out and murder him, claiming he has fled with another girl. The daughter finds the body, has her brothers executed, and dies of grief


At the end of Tom Lenihan's version on IRCLare01, the brothers' bodies are given to doctors "for to practice by" "but Mary's thoughts both night and day On her dead love did run; In the madhouse cell poor Mary dwells For her constant farmer's son." See the notes to "A Maid in Bedlam" for other women driven to the asylum. - BS

Cross references




  1. Laws M33, "The Constant Farmer's Son"
  2. FSCatskills 47, "The Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. SHenry H806, pp. 434-435, "The Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Morton-Maguire 17, pp. 40-41,108,163, "The Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. LPound-ABS, 32, pp. 76-78, "The Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text)
  6. Creighton/Senior, pp. 141-142, "Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. Creighton-Maritime, p. 118, "The Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. Lehr/Best 25, "Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Mackenzie 26, "The Constant Farmer's Son" (1 text)
  10. DT 309, CONSTFRM (JEALBRO5 incorrectly listed as Laws M32)
  11. Roud #675
  12. BI, LM33