> The Watersons > Songs > Harvest Song: We Gets Up in the Morn

Harvest Song / We Gets Up in the Morn

[ Roud 2471 ; Master title: Harvest Song I ; Ballad Index WT055A ; Wiltshire 816 ; trad.]

The Watersons sang the harvest song We Gets Up in the Morn on their 1965 album Frost and Fire. It was also included in 1996 on the Topic CD anthology of traditional carols and celebrations for the whole year, The Season Round. A.L. Lloyd noted on the original album:

Before the time of the tractor and the mechanical reaper-thresher, harvest was embellished with many customs, with plaited images called Corn-babies in the fields, and ceremonies attached to the last sheaf cut, and finally the Harvest Home supper that was once a great banquet attended by all hands as a symbol of the solidarity of working countryfolk. We Gets Up in the Morn was a favourite Harvest Home song in the eastern counties, where it was customary to waken the reapers ceremonially by blowing the "harvest horn". The tune is a variant of one of the most-used melodies for Maytime and Christmas carols and other ceremonial songs.

Crucible sang Harvest Song in 2003 on their WildGoose CD Changeling. They noted:

Gavin [Davenport] learned this from Ron and Jenny Day and his mum and dad when singing with harmony group “Little Else” in Sheffield. This version of the words is a hybrid of the version recorded by the Watersons and the one that appears in Alfred Williams’ Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames. We liked the fact that the people in the song wake up, have a pint and are then immediately ready to celebrate their next free drink after barely a single verse at work!


The Watersons sing We Gets Up in the Morn

We gets up in the morn and we sound the harvest horn
Our master is honest for to mind
First thing we take in hand is the stopper from the can
So each man can drink until the bottom he find
Then each man do take his part and work with hand and heart
While the glorious sun do shine, do shine
While the glorious sun do shine

Our master brings the can he’s a jolly-hearted man
Come my lads and take a drop of the best
And don’t you stand and prattle when you hear the wagons rattle
For the sun he is a-drawing to the west, to the west
For the sun he is a-drawing to the west

Here’s the farmer’s daughter dear brews us plenty of strong beer
Which is enough to cheer up any soul
Each man shall drink and say heaven bless this happy day
When we crown the harvest with a flowing bowl, flowing bowl
When we crown the harvest with a flowing bowl


Transcribed from the singing of the Watersons by Garry Gillard. Thanks to Tim McElwaine for corrections.