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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Len Wallace Lyr Req: Songs of the industrial Revolution (35) Lyr Add: CROPPER LADS - BLACKLEG MINER - etc. 04 Feb 04

Well, there was a book published out of England a number of years back. I believe the title was "Victoria's Inferno" that dealt with songs from the time period of the 19th century on that subject. I'm tryig to find my copy of it in my library under a mountain of songbooks.

A number of songs i'd suggest:

The Cropper Lads (about the Luddite movement around 1815, smashing of the new machines) i actually recorded it on my album "Winds of Change". The first verse is:

Come Cropper Lads of high reknown
who love to drink good ale that's brown
And strike each haughty tyrant down with hatchet, pike and gun.

The Cropper Lad's for me, the gallant lad's for me
who with lusty stroke the shear frames broke
The Cropper Lad's for me.

"Blackleg Miner", one of my favourites that came from 1844 (the Black Year of '44 it was called) and a bitter coal mining strike by Chartists. Steeleye Span recorded it. I did too on my first album. the words are:

It's in the evening after dark
that the blackleg miner creeps to work
in his moleskin pants (or cap) and dirty (dorty) shirt
There goes the blackleg miner.

He takes his pick and down he goes
to hew the coal that lies below
There's not a woman in this town row
Will speak to the blackleg miner.

Oh, Delaro is a terrible place
They rub black clay in the blackleg's face
And 'round the pithead (pitheid, or pitheaps)
They run a footrace to catch the blackleg miner

Oh, don't go near the Seghill mine
Across the road they stretch a line
To catch the neck and reak the spine
of the dirty blackleg miner.

They take his pick and tools as well
And throw (hoy) theym down the pit o hell.
down ye go, faretheewell you dirty blackleg miner.

So, join the union while you may
Don't wait till your dyin' day
That may not be far away you dirty blackleg miner.

Then there's:
"Drill Ye Terriers, Drill" from 1888;
"Song of the Lower classes" by Ernest Jones one of the Chartist leaders with the verse that starts:

"We plough and sow, we're so very, very low
that we delve in the dirty clay
till we bless the plain with the golden grain
and the vale of the fragrant hay.
our place we know we're so very, very low
'tis down at the landlor's feet
we're not too low the grain to sow
but too low the bread to eat.

"The Internationale" or "L-internationale" written 1871
"The Durham Lockout" 1892;
"The Strike" by Joe Wilson, 1871;
"Fourpence a Day" (about child labour);
"The Banks of the Dee" (minerworkers song of unemployment);
Jute Mill Song (but written around 1920):

Oh dear me, the mill's running fast
And we poor shifter canna get no reat.
Shiftin, piecing, spinning,
warp weft and twine
To feed and clothe my babies off of ten and nine.

Poverty Knock (about the mills). I remember the words as:

Up in the morning at five, it's a wonder that we stay alive
I'm allus (always) yawning all on a cold morning
It's back to the old dreary drive.

Oh dear, we're going to be late, Gaffer is standing at gate
There's a note in his pocket says wages he'll dockit,
we'll have to buy grub on the slate

Chorus: And it's poverty, poverty knock
Me loom is saying all day.
Poverty, poverty knock
Gaffer's too skinny to pay.
Poverty, poverty knock
Allus one eye on the clock
and i know i can guttle when I hear me shuttle go
poverty, poverty knock.

Tooner should tackle his loom,
but he just sits there on his bum.
He's all a-busy a-courtin' our (oor) Lizzie
And I just can't get him to come.

And Lizzy's so easily led
I reckon he takes her to bed.
She used to be skinny, now look a her pinny
It's just about time they got wed.

We've got to wet our own yearn
And dip it into yonder tarn.
It's wet and it's soggy and makes us all groggy,
There's rats in that dirty old barn.

Oh dear my poor head it sings,
I should have woven three strings
Strings keep on breakin and my heart is aching
Oh dear, i wish i had wings.

The Work of the Weavers (Scottish song, but possible late 19th early 20th century);
The yiddish song - Der Hammer (or Un du Akerst) based on a Georg Herwegh poem from the 1840s)

There was an extensive book and collection of songs "American Labor Congs of the nineteenth Century" which may be valuable.

Hope this helps. I'll try and find the cope of "Victoria's Inferno". it's a little treasure I found in a music store in London, England a few years back.

All the best.

For music that never dies,
Len Wallace

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