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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleWhat's a labourer's lot in this country of freedom
Roud No.22069
Collected FromUnknown
LocationUnknown
CountyUnknown
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 738
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

What's a labourer's lot in this country of freedom?
Six children to keep and ten shillings to feed 'em.
A gaol or a workhouse for all those that need 'em.
Pray! What does a labourer lack?

Verse 2

Ten shillings a week will just fill one belly,
But Tom, Bill and Hal, Poll, Susan and Nelly,
They'd eat all day long, my old woman'll tell 'e,
I onlg can get just a snack.

Verse 3

There came an old chap, whom the Union engages,
To show the poor man how to go for more wages,
Says he - 'Ask for more, and, if Farmer Grump rages,
The Union will stand at your back.'

Verse 4

Says Grump - 'If you join it will end in disaster.
How dare you offend such an excellent master!'
Says I - 'If you say so, we'll join all the faster.'
Oh, he looked awfully black.


Verse 5

He says in the harvest, we're putting him quite about,
Yet, if he'd be just, there'd be nothing to fight about,
But he swears he'll send us all to the right about,
When he begins to get slack.

Verse 6

There's plenty of work to be had by the willing,
With wages at double the paltry ten shilling,
And land o'er the sea to be had for the tilling,
If he should tell us to pack.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.

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