Mudcat Café message #2600118 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2173   Message #2600118
Posted By: Nigel Parsons
29-Mar-09 - 08:21 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Poverty Knock
Subject: Lyr Add: POVERTY KNOCK (from Roy Palmer)
Slight variations, from a book "Poverty Knock" a picture of industrial life in the nineteenth century through songs, ballads and contempory accounts" Selected & edited by Roy Palmer (Cambridge University Press) ISBN 0 521 20443 7

This is quoted "as is". My only comment is that the scansion seems a little more regular!


Poverty, poverty knock,
My loom is a-sayin' all day;
Poverty, poverty knock,
Gaffer's too skinny to pay:

Poverty, poverty knock,
Keepin' one eye on the clock;
I know I can guttle
When I hear my shuttle,
Go poverty, poverty knock.

Up every mornin' at five,
I wonder that we keep alive.
Tired and yawnin'
On a cold mornin',
It's back to the dreary old drive.

Oh dear! We're goin' to be late,
Gaffer is stood at the gate.
We're out o' pocket
Our wages they're dockit,
We'll 'a' to buy grub on the slate.

And when our wages they'll bring,
We're often short of a string.;
And while we are fratchin' wi' gaffer for snatchin',
We know to his brass he will cling.

We've got to wet our own yarn,
By dippin' it into the tarn
It's wet an' soggy and makes us feel groggy,
and there's mice in that dirty old barn.

Oh dear my poor 'ead it sings,
I should have woven three strings
But threads are breakin' and my back is achin'
Oh dear, I wish I had wings.

Sometimes a-shuttle flies out,
And gives some poor woman a clout;
There she lies bleedin', but nobody's 'eedin',
Who's goin' to carry her out?

Tuner should tackle my loom,
'E'd rather sit on his bum;
'E's far too busy a-courtin' our Lizzie,
And I cannot get him to come.

Lizzie's so easy led,,
I think that 'e takes her to bed
She always was skinny, now just look at her pinny
It's think it's high time they were wed.

All variations from the version posted by Mary (above) are shown by "block printing" although this may be difficult to spot for the frequent replacement of the letter 'g' at the end of a word by an apostrophe!