Mudcat Café message #3942892 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162666   Message #3942892
Posted By: Jim Carroll
10-Aug-18 - 09:04 AM
Thread Name: New Book: Folk Song in England
Subject: RE: New Book: Folk Song in England
For me, this is the most interesting song/poem to come out of that period
Jim Carroll

The Surat Weavers   Samuel Laycock (woolen weaver)

Confound it! aw ne’er wur so woven afore,
Mi back’s welly bracken, mi fingers are sore;
Aw’ve bin starin’ an’ rootin’ amung this Shurat,
Till aw’m very near getten as bloint as a bat.

Every toime aw go in wi’ mi cuts to owd Joe,
He gies mi a cursin’, an’ bates mi an’ o ;           keeps         back         part of payment
Aw’ve a warp i’ one loom wi’ booath selvedges marr’d
An’ th’ other’s as bad, for he’s dressed it to’ hard.

Aw wish aw wur fur enough off, eawt o’ th’ road,
For o’ weavin’ this rubbitch aw’m gettin’ reet stow’d;        fed up
Aw’ve nowt i' this world to lie deawn on but straw,
For aw’ve nobbut eight shillin’ this fortn’t to draw.

Neaw aw haven’t mi family under mi hat,
Aw’ve a woife an’ six childer to keep eawt o’ that;
So aw’m rayther amung it at present, yo’ see,
Iv ever a fellow wur puzzl’t, it’s me!

Iv one turns eawt to stale, folk’ll co me a thief,              steal
An’ aw conno’ put th’ cheek on to ax for relief;
As aw said i’ eawr heawse t’other neet to mi woife,
I niver di nowt o’ this sort in me loif

One doesn’t like everyone t’ know heaw they are,
But we’n suffered so lung thro’ this ’Merica war,
’At ther’s lots o’ poor factory folk getten t’ fur end,
An’ they’ll soon be knocked o’er iv th’ toimes dunno mend.

Oh, dear! iv yon Yankees could only just see
Heaw they’re clemmin’ an starvin’ poor weavers loike me,
Aw think they’d soon setde the’r bother, an’ strive
To send us some cotton to keep us alive.

Ther’s theawsands o’ folk just i’ th’ best o’ the’r days,
Wi’ traces o’ want plainly seen i’ the’r face;
An’ a future afore ’em as dreary an’ dark,
For when th’ cotton gets done we shall o’ be beawt wark.   all be without work

We’n bin patient an’ quiet as lung as we con;
Th’ bits o’ things we had by us are welly o gone;    almost all gone
Aw’ve bin trampin’ so lung, mi owd shoon are worn eawt,
An’ mi halliday clooas are o on ’em “up th’ speawt.”    pawned

It wur nobbut last Monday aw sowd a good bed—
Nay, very near gan it—to get us some bread; gave
Afore these bad toimes come aw used to be fat,
But neaw, bless yo’r loife, aw’m as thin as a lat!

Mony a toime i’ mi loife aw’v seen things lookin’ feaw,   ugly
But never as awk’ard as what they are neaw;
Iv ther’ isn’t some help for us factory folk soon,
Aw’m sure we shall o be knocked reet eawt o’ tune.

Come, give us a lift, yo’ ’at han owt to give,
An’ help yo’r poor brothers an’ sisters to live;
Be kind, an’ be tender to th’ needy an’ poor,
An’ we'll promise when th’ toimes mend we’ll ax yo’ no moor.