Special Election Bonus: The Turnip Song

John Glen of the Conservative party during campaigning

In a previous post, I mentioned the 300-year-old tradition in Salisbury requiring a newly elected MP to celebrate victory by singing, from the balcony of a local pub, a song about hoeing turnips–or in the local dialect, turmuts

New MP John Glen did not eschew this tradition, as you can see by following one of these links: for the painfully long version, click here (you can skip the introductory speeches by fast fowarding to about the two-and- a- half minute mark ) ; or for the briefest of tastes, click here

Apparently the song was traditionally sung by soldiers returning to their Wiltshire farms from wars abroad, and I suppose even hoeing turnips must look good if you’re in that situation. 

The sound quality is not good in either clip and I’m sure you’ll want to join in,  so read on for the lyrics to the first verse and the chorus: 

‘Twere on a jolly zummer’s day, the twenty-fust o’ May,
John Scroggins took his turmut-hoe, wi’ thic he trudged away:
“Now zome volks they likes haymakin’, and zome they vancies mowin’-
But of all the jobs as I likes best, gi’e I the turmut-hoein’.”


The vly, the vly,
The vly be on the turmut –
‘Tis all me eye
Fer I to try
To keep vly off the turmut.

Still no new government here yet, by the way…



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4 responses to “Special Election Bonus: The Turnip Song

  1. Jill Waterhouse

    Oh my, that is too funny!

  2. Kim Sweeney

    Mmmm…..what, pray tell, is “vly”?

    • I’m guessing it means “fly”–just as “volks” is surely “folks”–though why flies would be a big problem for turnips, I wouldn’t know…

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