The Drovers

A song by Keith Marsden. This is a lament for the drovers who used to drive livestock to market. The railways came along and put them out of a job.

A drover driving his livestock to market – early 19th century England.

Oh I was a lad when I first saw the sight
The gath’ring of beasts and men
The cobs off the halter and dogs running free
For the Drovers were on the road again.

Oh the droving days are done,
And the drover’s way is run.
For there’s railways laid and they’ve taken the trade,
And the droving days are done.

We cursed down the valleys, we cursed up the hills,
We stumbled through marsh, bog and fen,
Each year was the last but we knew in the spring,
That the drovers were on the road again.

We had the freedom of high moor and fell,
No fences, nor walls bound us then,
The meeting with old friends at farmstead or fair,
When the drovers were on the road again.

But times are a’changing and farmers in greed,
Have cast out the proud drovin’ men.
Our children will starve lest we find other work,
And the drovers are on the road again.

I’m old and there’s no place at hirings for me,
For who wants the bent broken men?
I wish God would give back the days that we knew,
And the drovers were on the road again.