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Origins: A Woman's Work is Never Done

GUEST,Mike Yates 22 Sep 15 - 06:40 AM
maeve 22 Sep 15 - 07:39 AM
maeve 22 Sep 15 - 07:49 AM
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Subject: Origins: A Woman's Work is Never Done
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 22 Sep 15 - 06:40 AM

I am currently writing the notes to a CD of the Sussex traditional singer Harry Upton, but am unable to trace this Music Hall song to a specific composer or singer. There are a number of songs with this title, but I cannot trace this version. Any help would be appreciated.

A Woman's Work is Never Done.

I'm a poor hard-working female ever since I've been a wife
If you listen I would tell to you my woes
For there's plenty more the same, so I'll tell you jolly plain
Just what the married woman undergoes
It's very nice at first, you have no babes to nurse
The days and nights so happy they seem
But when the kiddies come, you can reckon you are done
That's when a woman's trouble it begins

Chorus:
Washing and scrubbing and mending up the clothes
All the kiddies with their shirts out they will run
I've already buried five and I have ten more alive
So I find a woman's work is never done

Each morning there's the kiddies to wash and bundle off to school
And two or three are kicking up a row
While the oldest gets a (plain/pain?), the silly little fool
And lets the baby fall upon the ground
We've lately breeched young Tommy, he's often in distress
And holding up his trousers, in he runs
For there's a job to do, 'cause he's been and made a mess
So I find a woman's work is never done

If you up the street, five minutes for a treat
You're bound to take the young 'uns out as well
For you have no time to stop, just to have a little drop
'Cause the old-man might come home, you cannot tell
If he comes home and finds you out he's bound to rave and shout
Or "Where the dickens* is your mother gone?"
So you never ought to roam but to always be at home
So I find a woman's work is never done

*dickens = a euphemism for the devil.


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Subject: RE: Origins: A Woman's Work is Never Done
From: maeve
Date: 22 Sep 15 - 07:39 AM

Mike, I don't suppose the credits in this Mudcat thread would help (Even if only to cross off another variation)?

Lyr Req: A woman's work is in the 'ome


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Subject: RE: Origins: A Woman's Work is Never Done
From: maeve
Date: 22 Sep 15 - 07:49 AM

For the sake of others thinking to help Mike find a source for this version, here's a link to scholarly work he had already done on the subject, back a few years: Wonderfully Curious some thoughts on the English song tradition


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