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Origins: Factory Girl

26 Feb 01 - 07:43 AM (#406375)
Subject: factory girl
From: GUEST,dreoilin

any one know the origins of this song "I ain't gonna work in the factory..." I would love to find out!


26 Feb 01 - 08:20 AM (#406395)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: Fiolar

According to the booklet in the CD by Rita Connolly, it's a traditional number which arranged by her and Shaun Davey. There is no further info.


26 Feb 01 - 05:31 PM (#406700)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: John Moulden

Beware; the song sung by Rita Connelly, though I don't know her performance, is probably the Irish traditional one which commonly begins:

"As I went a-walking one fine summer's morning
The birds in the branches did whistle and sing
The laddies and lasses together were sporting
Going down to the factory their work to begin.

It's well known in different versions by Sarah Makem and Margaret Barry.


27 Feb 01 - 09:30 AM (#407150)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: Fiolar

The Rita Connolly version goes as follows: "Well I ain't gonna work in the factory
And greasy-up my clothes.
I ain't gonna work in the factory
And splinters in my toes.
Pity me my darlin'
Pity me I say.
Pity me my darlin'
And carry my blues away."
I wonder if the version she sings is Lancashire or Yorkshire based?


28 Feb 01 - 07:46 AM (#407878)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,dreoilin

I would have thought so, as there are references to spinning and bobbins ,as in sewing machines , in the version I am familiar with. I would like to know by whom or when it was written if there is any info available. perhaps it has sort of evolved from a few different variations.


28 Feb 01 - 08:00 AM (#407889)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Rana

Would this be the same one as sung by Steeleye Span on Parcel of Rogues (I think - one after Below the Salt) - it had bobbins etc in the words, with the rhythm somewhat like a sound of the machines.

Rana


28 Feb 01 - 08:03 AM (#407892)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: John Moulden

That would probably be the doffing mistress.


28 Feb 01 - 11:12 AM (#407981)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Rana

The song I was thinking of is

The Weaver and the Factory Maid

which is in the Digital Tradition.

This is what A.L. Lloyd had to say (from a web site describing a cd - A.L.Lloyd - Traditional songs.

The weaver and the factory maid The earliest weavers' songs are from the time when handloom weavers went from village to village, setting up in farmhouse and cottage kitchens. Amorous chances were plenty. The invention of the powerloom and the establishment of textile factories brought a great change in the handloom weavers' lives. This song, lyrical and wry, curiously illuminates this moment in history when the handworkers were finding themselves obliged to follow the girls into the factories and weave by steam, and when country song was changing to town song. (12T86)

So I don't know if it is the song your after - possible one of many on similar themes.

Rana


28 Feb 01 - 04:43 PM (#408259)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Philippa

I believe the song in question is an American one.(see lyrics from Fiolar, 27 Feb) I think Philip King "introduced" it to Irish audiences before Rita Connolly. I think I first heard it from a Hedy West recording.


28 Feb 01 - 04:47 PM (#408265)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Philippa

and it's in the DT No more shall I work in the factory attributed to Guthrie et al "Hard Hitting Songs".


28 Feb 01 - 06:54 PM (#408361)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Rana

Oops,

Reread the thread after Philippa's comments a bit more slowly - went way off on a tangent - sorry about the creep

Rana


01 Mar 01 - 12:40 PM (#408845)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: wdyat12

I seem to remember that the Stones recorded a tune using the Factory Girl as a motif, but I couldn't find it in any search. Does anyone else recall the tune? I may be dreaming this, but I can almost hear the tune in my head. My memory plays tricks on me all the time now.

wdyat12


01 Mar 01 - 05:35 PM (#409046)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Philippa

not so sure about Hedy West recollection, maybe thought of her because I heard her sing "I worked in a factory all my life, Ain't got nothing but a Barly knife, it's a hard times cotton mill girls, Hard times everywhere." The rest of what I wrote above holds.


17 Jul 04 - 07:56 PM (#1227903)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,mlb

I doubt anyone reads this list any longer however, I will answer one question I found that has yet to be answered.

The songs listed here, "Factory Girl" and "No more shall I work in the factory" are Doffing songs and, as best I can tell, are one in the same. Their rhythm and meter are approximate to the rate of a doffers work. For those who don't know what a doffer is, look it up. You might be surprised by what they do!

The origins of these songs, as relayed to me, stem from the Inudstrial Revolution of the late 1800's and early 1900's when people still used song to keep work rhythms.

By odd chance, I have a copy of this song on CD as sung by Kat Eggleston while sitting in with The Gazebo Singers in Chicago. The recording is unreleased and, to my knowledge, heretofore unknown.


17 Jul 04 - 08:09 PM (#1227913)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher

The cotton bobbins were/are rather larger than those used in a sewing machine.

Different machines used different sizes of bobbin, and they were constantly reused. Even though they were made of quite good wood they would eventually become too damaged to use, and were discarded, and there were quite a number of toys made from them - I have a couple of songs which mention bobbin toys and skipping ropes in particular, the skipping ropes were made from bobbins which had lost the disk of wood from one end.

Anne


18 Jul 04 - 04:24 AM (#1228059)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: burntstump

The stones did record a song called Factory Girl on one of their 3rd or 4th albums


18 Jul 04 - 05:22 AM (#1228074)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: alanabit

The Stones song is a charming piece from their 1968 album "Beggar's Banquet". They revived it on tour in the nineties. It's got nothing to do with the song originally requested here though as far as I know.


18 Jul 04 - 05:24 AM (#1228075)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,bluenose

Factory girl was the title of an LP that was released by Marie Little
from Salford in 1971.The sleeve notes say that the song was written by Ralph McTell and epitomised the factory life and conditions in both Lancashire and the north east of England in the early part of the twentieth century.


18 Jul 04 - 05:09 PM (#1228408)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST

Someone I went to school with did an unaccompanied song called "Factory Girl" on a CD (with a number of different performers) a few years back, but judging from the lyrics above, this is different. The one I have heard is written from the point of view of a suitor of the girl.

Although I have the version of The Doffing Mistress by Maddy Prior on a CD with her daughter ?Rose Kemp, I first heard c. 30 years ago it on an album by a presumably now defunct group whose name I forget but whose members I think came from around Bangor, Co. Down, in Northern Ireland. I think there was someone called Leslie ("Jess") Harper and a husband and wife team called Baillie/Bailey. I think the wife was called Valerie and the husband possibly Brian. There may or may not have been another member.

If anyone knows anything about the latter group, etc, please let me know.


19 Jul 04 - 06:04 AM (#1228825)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: rich-joy

The song known as "The Factory Girl" and quoted by John Moulden (26Feb01) and Guest (18Jul04) is a Northern Island traditional song and generally sung freeform and unaccompanied (well, I certainly do it that way!! *BG*), and not to be confused with the other doffing-rhythm songs mentioned.

Peggy Seeger sang a very rhythmic "Lowell Factory Girl" number, from memory ...

Cheers! R-J


16 Mar 07 - 12:54 PM (#1998746)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Teresa

O.K., this is like talking to ghosts because the last post was in '04, but in case anyone stumbles across this like I did, I have a recording of "Factory Girl" by Eily Kennedy. She lists it as "tradition Irish song." It is the song originally asked about in the post, as opposed to the Stones song, which is completely different.


16 Mar 07 - 01:34 PM (#1998785)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: Declan

Philip King and Rita Connolly used to perform this song as a duet. I remember them singing it in "The Meeting Place" in Dublin in the late '70s/ealy '80s. This is a different song to the one referred to by John Moulden in his (much) earlier post. That song is trad Irish (as far as I know) and also used to be performed in The Meeting Place around that time by Triona and Maighread Ni Dhomhnaill.

The second verse of the song requested at the start of this thread is "I ain't gonna hear that old spinning wheel rollin' round my head, When other girls are hard at work, I'll be home in bed". If there were any other verses I don't remember them.

The "ain't" is a bit of a giveaway that the song is American, as was the twang in Philip's Cork Accent when he was singing it. I don't reacall what attribution Philip gave for the song, but it always sounded Trad American to me.


16 Mar 07 - 01:42 PM (#1998790)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: Declan

I should have checked the DT before Posting. The song is there as No more shall I work in the factory with many more verses.


There is a link above.


16 Mar 07 - 02:00 PM (#1998802)
Subject: RE: factory girl
From: GUEST,Ballyholme

"I first heard c. 30 years ago it on an album by a presumably now defunct group whose name I forget but whose members I think came from around Bangor, Co. Down, in Northern Ireland. I think there was someone called Leslie ("Jess") Harper and a husband and wife team called Baillie/Bailey. I think the wife was called Valerie and the husband possibly Brian. There may or may not have been another member."

The group Guest refers to were the Irish Country Four, who recorded an album on the Topic label in the 70s. The fourth, unnamed member, was Trevor Stewart, who played uilleann pipes and sang withe band. Apart from becoming All-Ireland champion piper in the 70s, Trevor has since played in a number of bands in and around Belfast and can be regularly be heard at sessions in the city.

The other three members of the band came from around the Newcastle, Co. Down area.


16 Mar 07 - 03:25 PM (#1998903)
Subject: RE: origins: factory girl
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan

Been singing this one (the American) recently with our local choir!

Regards


04 Sep 07 - 07:56 AM (#2140480)
Subject: RE: origins: factory girl
From: GUEST,Henryp

Might be of interest to Andy Cutting I suppose.


05 Sep 07 - 05:11 AM (#2141287)
Subject: RE: origins: factory girl
From: scouse

I seem to remember Marie Little doing a song called the "Factory Girl." back in the time of the MSG.. I could of course be wrong knowing what memory is!!
As Aye,
Phil.