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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleProp of the land
Roud No.1254
Collected FromGodwin, Robert
LocationSouthrop
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 155
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 19th February, 1916, p 3, Part 19, No. 10: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 105, 106
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

The prop of the land is the hard working man,
His health let us pledge in a glass!
And they who say No, it will very soon show,
They don't belong to the working class.

Verse 2

Why should the rich man despise us, the poor,
When we toil for them hard, night and day?
The time it will come when the rich man will go,
By the side of the poor man he must lay.

Verse 3

Death lays low, ay! low, great and small,
If life was a thing we could buy,
The rich man would live - what thousands he would give!
While a poor man he might die.

Verse 4

A poor man is happy while he has work to do,
If the rich man only to him give
A fair day's pay for a hard day's toil:
His motto to live and let live.

Verse 5

Those rich grinding knives will have us poor slaves,
And take from the poor man what he earns;
To hear them boast how they carry every course!
And the poor man they treat like a worm.

Verse 6

The prop of the land is the hard working man,
His health let us pledge in a glass!
And they who say No, it will very soon show,
They don't belong to the working class.

Toast

Here's luck to the swan that crosses yonder brook!
Here's luck to the house of industry!
Here's luck to every poor man's wife
That drinks health to her country!
If life was a thing that money could buy,
The rich would live and the poor might die.
Here's oceans of wine, rivers of beer,
A nice little wife, and ten thousand a year!
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'Again we hear the voice of the poor, complaining of hard times, poverty, and lack of sympathy on the part of their betters and employers. The "prop of the land" is a very good expression and there is optimism and good nature at the end of the piece. The song is old. I obtained the copy of Robert Godwin, Southrop.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'Again we hear the voice of the poor, complaining of hard times, poverty, and lack of sympathy on the part of their betters and employers. The "Prop of the land" is a very good expression and there is optimism and good nature at the end of the piece. The song is old. I obtained the copy of Robert Godwin, Southrop.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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