Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesonny

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origins: Poverty Knock

DigiTrad:
POVERTY KNOCK


Related threads:
Help: 'GUTTLE' (word from Poverty Knock) (45)
Chords Req: Poverty Knock (8)
Tune Req: poverty knocks (9)
Lyr Req: Tommy Daniels songs (1)


dick greenhaus 03 Jul 97 - 01:07 PM
Bert Hansell 03 Jul 97 - 01:24 PM
Susan of DT 03 Jul 97 - 08:32 PM
LaMarca 08 Jul 97 - 06:09 PM
Willa 08 Apr 03 - 03:54 PM
Herga Kitty 08 Apr 03 - 05:04 PM
phil h 08 Apr 03 - 06:00 PM
Bat Goddess 08 Apr 03 - 07:28 PM
Yorkshire Tony 08 Apr 03 - 08:32 PM
greg stephens 09 Apr 03 - 03:51 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 09 Apr 03 - 08:01 AM
lamarca 09 Apr 03 - 11:58 AM
Mary Humphreys 13 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM
Zany Mouse 14 Apr 03 - 06:09 AM
Nigel Parsons 29 Mar 09 - 08:21 PM
Austin P 29 Mar 09 - 09:48 PM
peregrina 30 Mar 09 - 02:58 AM
r.padgett 30 Mar 09 - 10:38 AM
Steve Gardham 30 Mar 09 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Rob Naylor 15 Mar 10 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,padgett 16 Mar 10 - 06:22 AM
Steve Gardham 16 Mar 10 - 12:31 PM
johnadams 17 Mar 10 - 10:15 AM
Rob Naylor 08 Apr 10 - 09:40 PM
Dave Hanson 09 Apr 10 - 02:49 AM
pavane 16 Jul 10 - 05:17 AM
Jim Dixon 26 Jul 10 - 07:22 PM
pavane 27 Jul 10 - 01:58 AM
GUEST 27 Jul 10 - 02:15 AM
r.padgett 27 Jul 10 - 03:47 AM
Rob Naylor 27 Jul 10 - 04:02 AM
Rob Naylor 27 Jul 10 - 04:15 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 27 Jul 10 - 04:16 AM
r.padgett 27 Jul 10 - 08:02 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Jul 10 - 08:08 AM
r.padgett 27 Sep 12 - 03:25 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Sep 12 - 03:33 AM
MikeL2 27 Sep 12 - 06:52 AM
Keith A of Hertford 27 Sep 12 - 06:56 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Sep 12 - 10:16 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Sep 12 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Desi C 27 Sep 12 - 11:26 AM
r.padgett 27 Sep 12 - 01:08 PM
MikeL2 27 Sep 12 - 02:21 PM
Dave Hanson 27 Sep 12 - 03:19 PM
r.padgett 28 Sep 12 - 07:17 AM
Dave Hanson 28 Sep 12 - 08:32 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Sep 12 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 28 Sep 12 - 07:55 PM
r.padgett 29 Sep 12 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler 29 Sep 12 - 12:55 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Sep 12 - 10:43 AM
r.padgett 30 Sep 12 - 02:22 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Sep 12 - 03:22 PM
r.padgett 01 Oct 12 - 04:31 AM
Rob Naylor 02 Oct 12 - 04:30 AM
Sugwash 02 Oct 12 - 04:48 AM
r.padgett 02 Oct 12 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,kathy 05 Jan 17 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,padgett 05 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM
leeneia 05 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM
Thomas Stern 05 Jan 17 - 07:15 PM
GUEST,padgett 06 Jan 17 - 05:01 AM
Bev and Jerry 15 May 17 - 08:45 PM
Bev and Jerry 15 May 17 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,padgett 16 May 17 - 04:04 AM
Senoufou 16 May 17 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,padgett 16 May 17 - 04:32 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Source for Poverty Knock
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Jul 97 - 01:07 PM

Someone asked me this, and I'm afraid my incipient Altzheimer's has taken over.

Who wrote Poverty Knock, and when.

As I recall, it was in the 1960's (to everyone's surprise), but I can't find my references.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 03 Jul 97 - 01:24 PM

The Spinners recorded it if that's any help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: Susan of DT
Date: 03 Jul 97 - 08:32 PM

According to the book Victoria's Inferno (songs of the old mills, mines, manufacturies, canals, and railways, edited by Jon Raven, 1978: Poverty Knock "text and melody: from the singing of Tom Daniel, a Batley, Yorkshire weaver (collected by A.E. Green 1965). Tom Daniel died in April 1970 aged 76."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: LaMarca
Date: 08 Jul 97 - 06:09 PM

A. L. Lloyd wrote in his book, "Folk Song in England" that Tom Daniel told Green in 1965 that he learned the song 60 years earlier in the first mill he worked in after leaving school. Doing the arithmetic,, Mr. Daniel was born in 1894, and started working in the mills in 1905, age 11...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: Willa
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 03:54 PM

Hester. Mill songswere not always jolly. You might find these useful:


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 05:04 PM

Pete Coe sings "Poverty Knock", and reckons that Tom Daniel probably wrote it. I asked Pete about the source a year or so ago after I'd heard it introduced by Mike Harding on the radio as a traditional song, and Pete replied as follows:

"The probable writer of 'Poverty Knock' was Tom Daniel, a weaver from
Pudsey. I met him in about 1970, shortly before he died. He was born
around 1890, left school at 11 & worked in various mills around W.
Yorks. & did other jobs too, outside of weaving. The story he apparently told was that he'd remembered bits of the song from his early years. However, the song bears striking resemblance to many of the poems thathe did write. The collector of the song, Tony Green, reckons he wrote it too. I'm told there's no surviving relatives to claim royalties so as it's been designated a 'traditional' song for so long, that's how it's usually referred to."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: phil h
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 06:00 PM

Bill & Wendy Price lived in Dewsbury, close to Tommy Daniel's home in Batley. Wendy wrote in 1972 on the sleve notes to Bill's 'Fine old Yorkshire gentleman' LP that Tommy was best known for 'preserving and reconstructing' Poverty Knock.

Around the time of Tommy's death much of his material was written down & a very few coppies were made, Wendy Price thinks someone borrowed her copy. Keith Pearson (who ran a music shop in Dewsbury) died 7 or 8 years ago & his copy was probably thrown out. A Guy called Dennis who now lives in Peterborough had a copy off Keith but can't find it. So does anyone know of any surviving copy? Did Mick Haywood (now in Whitby) have a copy?

Phil


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 07:28 PM

Well, all I was going to say was it's in Lloyd. I'd heard it before, but I actually learned it from Judy Cook.

Linn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: Yorkshire Tony
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 08:32 PM

Word around the folk scene in Leeds when I were a lad was that in reconstructing it Tommy Daniel cleaned up the original material he remembered quite extensively as he considered it too risque for general performance. It would be very interesting to know the content of any original manuscript.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: greg stephens
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 03:51 AM

Any body know what happened to Tony(AE) Green, the man who collected the song(as quoted from AL Lloyd). Knew him well in the 60's, last heard he was doing something academic in Leeds. Any recent sightings?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:01 AM

Hi Greg,

My most recent contact with Tony - via our library, which has a copy of a book edited by Michael Pickering and Tony Green - "Everyday Culture: Popular song and the Vernacular Milieu" - Open University Press 1987. It has some very interesting material in it, though it also contains a few blinding glimpses of the obvious wrapped up in sociological jargon.

eg "In reference if not in sense, cultural meaning is therefore local, and any methodology for describing it should begin with the defined locality. The obvious objection 'How local is local?', is actually as meaningless as it is obvious. Both objectively and subjectively, the 'local' is infinitely variable."

Ho hum!

Anyow, I'd be delighted to hear news of Tony, or even better, to make contact with the lad himself.


Wassail!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: lamarca
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 11:58 AM

And Judy learned it from me, Linn, and I learned it from recordings by John and Rosie Goucher and Roy Harris (and subsequently I went back and added the two verses they skip...) I like Pete Coe's melancholy version, too. Another song that was done to death in English folk clubs, skipped across the Atlantic to a new life here in the U.S.!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: Poverty Knock
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 02:15 PM

This is the full text of the song as emailed to me by Angi & Mick Haywood over the weekend. They have also emailed a biog of Tommy which is too long to post. Anyone wanting it can PM me and I will send it on.


POVERTY KNOCK

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

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

Up every morning at five,
A wonder that we keep alive.
Tired and yawning
On a cold morning,
Back to the old weary drive.

Oh dear! We're going to be late,
Gaffer is stood at the gate.
We're out of pocket
Our wages they dock it,
We have to buy grub on the slate.

Oh, how my poor hear sings,
I should have woven three strings
But threads are breaking
My back is aching
Oh dear, I wish I had wings.

We have to wet our own yarn,
Dipping it into the tarn
It's wet an' soggy
Makes us feel groggy,
With mice in that dirty old barn.

Sometimes a-shuttle flies out,
Gives some poor weaver a clout;
There she lies bleeding Nobody's heeding,
Who's going to carry her out?

Tuner should tackle my loom,
He'd rather sit on his bum;
He's much too busy
A courtin' o'r Lizzie,
I cannot get him to cum'.

Lizzie is easily led,
They say that her takes to be;
She used to be skinny
Now just look at her pinny
It's just about time they were wed.


This worksong dates back to the early power looms. Owing to low wages and the slow dreary   "knock-ity knock" sound of the looms, weavers were called "Poverty Knockers.

The tempo should be slow 3/4, but strongly accentuated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Source for Poverty Knock
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 06:09 AM

Although the tempo is supposed to replicate that of the loom, Sarah Davies, who is a professional weaver, says that it would be impossible to sing it fast enough to make it sounds like a loom!

Good song though.

ZM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: POVERTY KNOCK (from Roy Palmer)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 08:21 PM

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 KNOCK

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!
Cheers
Nigel


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Austin P
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 09:48 PM

One of my favourite songs, - I grew up amongst' cotton mills: I've a couple of questions for the 'catters:

"Tuner should tackle my loom"

I learnt it in my callow youth as:

"Tackler should fettle* me Loom"

Which, to me, makes more sense. A 'tackler' was the roving supervisor/mechanic in a weaving shed, often despised and the butt of jokes (search for 'tacklers tales'). Mind you, that's Lancashire usage, it may be have been slightly different all of 10 miles away in W. Yorkshire ...

Another thing (to my shame), I never sing the verse:

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.


Because I have no idea what it means. I remember steam being hissed into the weaving shed to keep the cotton damp (to stop it breaking), but as to wetting your own yarn? And what's a Barn got to do with it? I've always been baffled by that.

And, being a bit pedantic (joke alert) Looms don't go 'knock', they go: THRUMMEDEDUM THRUMMEDEDUM THRUMMEDEDUM THRUMMEDEDUM THRUMMEDEDUM THRUMMEDEDUM

Austin P

*fix, tune, repair.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: peregrina
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 02:58 AM

Poverty Knocks, words, notes & sound file at Yorkshire Garland


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 10:38 AM

Many years ago I went to a folk event in Pudsey, Leeds and spoke to a Mrs Fawthrope who was quiet elderly

She maintained that she and Tom Daniel "remembered the verses" that the Poverty Knocker ladies sang and had made up

I have no doubt that some embelishments were made by Tom Daniel in his performing of the song over time

I am informed by Wendy price that he was about 5 feet tall and rarely bought his own beer as he couldn't get to the bar

he was reputed to have spilled out a packet of condoms from his ukelle case in Dewsbury town hall late 1960s!!

So Poverty Poverty Knocks, tap! tap! was mandatory

My thanks to Mick Haywood for singing this one New Year for Yorkshire Garland

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 04:43 PM

Everyone connected with Tommy in the 60s is of the opinion he wrote at least most of it himself. There are different versions because Tommy gave the song to different people at different times and sang it slighly different each time. There are at least 2 recordings of him singing it, one by the Hudlestons can be heard at Sheffield University Library, and the other by Tony Green at Leeds University Library. It has been published many times. Neither recording was available to us to be used when we wanted a recording for the YG website so we asked the next best person, Mick Haywood of Batley who learnt it directly from Tommy, as with all of the other TD songs we have on the website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,Rob Naylor
Date: 15 Mar 10 - 11:36 PM

Regarding the origins, Tommy may have re-created it but my mum, a former Cleckheaton mill girl, used to sing a version of it to me in the late 50s, when I was very small, and all my aunts remembered singing it as girls in Popplewell Mill in the early 1930s.

To Austin P: The Lancashire cotton looms may have gone "Thrumedumedum", but Yorkshire woollen looms definitely went "clickety clack". And I learned very early that my mum, all her sisters and other female relatives could lip-read perfectly well over large distances!

The Yarn wetting verse is, I assume, due to them having to wash the excess dye out of the woollen yarn by rinsing it in the mill dam ("tarn"...not a word used locally for the mill dam...but I guess it makes the rhyme work). They'd started to use chemical dyes and some of them weren't very pleasant....the fumes from them could make the weavers feel bad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 06:22 AM

Thanks Rob

Pete Coe asked me about this last Saturday, so it is still of interest ~ Pete Bellamy asked about this too ( along time ago)

Note Mick Haywood says it is Tommy Daniel and Poverty Knocks (with the "s")

Interesting about the clickety clack ~ like a railway noise

LIsten also to the fine song Young Simon John sung by Ruth Price, if you come across 'em probably written by Tom Daniel

I am advised that mill lasses were known as "Poverty Knockers around Huddersfield

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 12:31 PM

Rob,
It would be very helpful to many of us if you can find or remember as much as possible about what was actually sung by anyone other than Tommy himself. Even a few words would be useful. To the majority of us it is just an excellent song rightly well liked and sung, but to a few of us nerds who like to delve into the history and background of such things any further information would be very welcome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: johnadams
Date: 17 Mar 10 - 10:15 AM

I've uploaded Pete Coe's rendering of the song to You Tube, along with seven other songs he performed at Cheltenham Folk Festival in 2006.

Poverty Knock


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 09:40 PM

Steve,

I can't remember much of what my mum used to sing. Certainly nothing to add to what's already been posted: I did note the "fratchin' wi' t' gaffer" verse is often left out...possibly because unless you're from the north you won't know what "fratching" means, and unless you're from a mill background you won't understand what a string is.

I'll ask her if she can remember some verses next time I see her. She's 94 and "not all there" anymore but she's more likely to remember things from her youth than from last week, so there's a chance I'll get some of it out of her.

Padgett: The mill girls around Cleckheaton, Bailiff Bridge and Brighouse were also known as "Poverty Knockers".

I was born and brought up in Scholes, just outside Cleckheaton and my paternal side lived there for a long time: A report sent to Thomas Cromwell (Henry VIII's minister) by Sir Marmaduke Constable in 1533 lists my ancestor "Thomas Naylor of Scholes" as one of the (many) local cloth-makers found guilty of "flocking" their cloth (using waste or recycled yarn in the weft). So I'm descended from a fraudster!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Apr 10 - 02:49 AM

I've known this song since I first started going to folk clubs in the late 1960s and Iv'e never heard a better version than Pete Coe's

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:17 AM

The term 'Poverty knockers" apprears in a very old broadsheet - was it a common term in the ara?

Jone o' Greenfield's lamentation


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 07:22 PM

From The Works of Peter Pindar, Esq., Vol 5 by Peter Pindar (London: J. Walker, 1801), page 412:

WYATT
TO POINS, IN PRAISE OF LIBERTY.

To crawle in courtes is bondage harde!
For who y chooseth chaines I wot?
Yet some, for pleasures of rewarde,
Wi flatter—and blow colde and hot.

But Liberty will I emplore,
Though Poverty knock at my doore.

What be our wants?—some thinges, not all.
Contentment lyeth not in heaps;
Who hath a littel field, though small,
It grete is, if enough he reaps.

Then Liberty will I emplore,
Though Poverty knock at my doore.

[I found many other instances of the expression "poverty is knocking at the door," etc.]

*
From Hiram Greg by J. Crowther Hirst (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1881), page 77:

Among them were large numbers of handloom weavers, who, with a sad, sardonic humour, described the noise made by their looms as "poverty knock, poverty knock"....

*
From Notes and Queries, Series 7, Vol. 4 (London: John C. Francis, 1887), page 328:

"Poverty Knocker."—In Oldham a weaver is sometimes called a "poverty knocker." I am informed that the sound made by the picking-sticks, which send the shuttle from one side of the loom to the other, is construed by weavers into "poverty knock"; hence the phrase. Can any of your Lancashire readers inform me whether the above is correct? J. Butterworth.

*
From ibid, page 396:

"POVERTY KNOCKER" (7th S. iv. 328).—This phrase is well known in the West Riding of Yorkshire, but is not in such general use now as it was forty years since, when hand-loom weaving was still common in the outlying districts around Leeds. The phrase can scarcely be an onomatopoeia, as the simple click of the picking-stick of the hand-loom can only by a most vivid stretch of the imagination form the words "poverty-knock." Here the words were used contemptuously of a hand-loom weaver, whose earnings were much less than those of a power-loom weaver. Most probably the words have a reference to the timid single knock, such as is made by a poor beggar, as distinguished from the more fashionable rat-ta-tat made by a person who "knows manners." I well remember many years since hearing an old hand-loom weaver (who dwelt on a wild moorland road leading into the Slaithwaite valley) say that he could almost tell a poor person from a well-to-do one by the kind of knock he gave at his cottage door when asking the way across the moor on a dark night.

Alf. Gardiner.
(Mr. Herbert Hardy writes to similar effect.)

*
From The Ragged Edge: A Tale of Ward Life & Politics by John Thomas McIntyre (New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1902), page 125:

"It's Nelly Fogarty," said someone. "She don't look like a poverty knocker when she's dressed up, eh?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: pavane
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 01:58 AM

Jone (John) o'Greenfield, containing the phrase, as said, seems to be from early Victorian times, perhaps before 1850.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 02:15 AM

alf gardiner is, i think, wrong in attributing the phrase to door knocking. The old looms that my mum sstarted on in 1930 at popplewell mill were victorian. They were still in use when the mill closed in the 60s and having heard them myself know that pk is a good description of how they sounded.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 03:47 AM

Poverty knockers was the term used in West Yorkshire for women minding the looms ~ simply

Probably the cacophony of noise in weaving mills is best typified by two knocks

Tom Daniel insisted that "tap tap" be inserted

Tom's lyrics (in A.L.Lloyds Folksongs In England) and on www.yorkshirefolksong.net was in my view a compilation of verses some from the poverty knockers and some from Tom (made up)

I do know Mrs Fawthrop from Pudsey had had some involvement

Correct version is nearer to Mick Haywood

Arrange as needed, you cant break it!

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 04:02 AM

Sorry, "Guest" above was me from my mobile phone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 04:15 AM

As I said in March above, and in my phone post earlier today, the old dobbie looms definitely had a "clickety clack" sound to them which can easily be rendered by the phrase "poverty knock".

The old Popplewell Mill at Scholes, Cleckheaton, where my mum and all my aunties worked on the looms from the late 1920s onwards (mum started at 14 in 1930 and was the middle one of 8) used the same looms when it closed in the 60s as it had opened with in Victorian times, and I heard them many times on visits, as my Great Aunt Edith had married into the Priestley family who owned the mill and eventually inherited it when her husband died. Mum said the shop floor when it closed looked exactly as it had when she'd started there!

r.padgett: not sure there is a "correct" version. Tom Daniel almost certainly made up (or re-created) some verses, but there were some verses my mum wouldn't ever sing to me as they were "too mucky".

I said back in March/ April on this thread that I'd try and get as many as possible from her, but she's deteriorated rapidly over the last 3 months and now spends virtually all her time in bed, sleeping. She's not very coherent when she's awake, so no luck I'm afraid. And she's the very last one of her generation, AFAIK from the whole village, not just our family.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 04:16 AM

Bellamy's setting of Kipling's The Way Through the Woods uses a tune very similar to Poverty Knock although he only realised this after he'd wrote it...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 08:02 AM

Mick Haywood who I recorded abd have known donkeys years got Poverty Knock straight from Tommy Daniel, he has extensive notes and photos

Bert Lloyds book may still be available in your library, I have a copy some where from late 1960s

I dare say that the women had some mucky verses too

See yorkshirefolksong.net

Go talk to Mick Haywood please!! or even Wendy Price

ta

ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 08:08 AM

Thread drift, but not too far, re Peter Bellamy's tunes as instanced in Suibhne's post: I once pointed out to him that Susannah's song, "I once lived in service to a lady so fine" in "The Transports", was based closely on "The Fair Maid On The Shore" ~~ a song he insisted he had never heard. But when he asked me to sing him the tune, he agreed he must have heard & forgotten it at some stage and it must have resurfaced as he composed his "lived in service" tune.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 03:25 AM

skinny ~ means was slim build

guttle ~ corruption of guggle or guzzle, which is to drink (beer)!
dictionary written by Ray Padgett of course!

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 03:33 AM

I do not agree.
It does not fit the context.
It is clearly skinny as in skinflint, a mean and ungenerous person.

Guttle has been established to mean eat in this context.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: MikeL2
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 06:52 AM

hi Keith

<" It is clearly skinny as in skinflint, a mean and ungenerous person.">

I think you are wrong. I think it is a euphemism for Lizzie having been " put up the duff". In other words she is pregnant.

" She used to be skinny nah look at her pinny , I think it's high time she got wed.

Cheers

MikeL2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 06:56 AM

Yes.
I was thinking of "Gaffer's too skinny to pay"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 10:16 AM

Skinny = thin,

" She used to be skinny, now look at her pinny "

Skinny = mean, as in ' Gaffer's too skinny to pay '

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 10:18 AM

I should have added, " now look at her pinny " ie. it won't fasten due to Lizzie putting on weight due to being pregnant.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 11:26 AM

I think I first heard it on a 1964 album titled 'introducing the Ian Cambell Folk Group' described as a song from the cotton Mill industry' I believe the 'poverty knock' in question refers to the rent man come calling for his rent


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 01:08 PM

Yes sorry skinny is used in two ways of course!

now guttle?

Poverty Knock interesting re rent man, as the noise of the loom has been questioned!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: MikeL2
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 02:21 PM

hi Keith

Sorry ah thowt you were referring to Lizzie's pinny not t'Gaffer.....all cleared oop nah ??

Cheers

MikeL2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 03:19 PM

Guttle is local dialect for eating quickly.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 07:17 AM

Dave which reference did you see for "eating quickly! please?

I hav in Hudleston's Yorkshire Glossary ~ Gutlin as [horse] always eating at work, closest to your interpretation

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 08:32 AM

I first heard it at the Bradshaw Folk Club 40 odd years ago sung by the then organiser Denis Sabey, he said it meant rushing your food down while still working.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 09:15 AM

OED: guttle v. 1654 [fr GUT sb. after GUZZLE v.] 1. intr. To eat voraciously; to gormandize. 2. trans. To devour or swallow greedily 1685. Hence Guttler, a glutton; a gormandizer.


Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 07:55 PM

Does anybody except me remember Tommy standing on a chair in The Star (in Haggersgate, Whitby) bawling it out, (as well as "Eighteen Pence On The Bed" to the same tune) while we all joined in the chorus, during the then EFDSS Whitby Folk Festival?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 29 Sep 12 - 02:52 AM

Thanks Mick, will go with your definition!

Ebor "Eighteen pence on the bed" do you have the words to this please?

Do you mean that eighteen pence is the samne tune as Poverty Knocks?

Dunt remember Tommy in the Star, but it was a favourite early pub, next to Seamens Mission virtually

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 29 Sep 12 - 12:55 PM

I only remember the chorus, and that in my innocence, #I had to have the phrase "Knocking shop" explained to me. The tune is Poverty Knock.

"Eighteenpence on the bed,
Pleasure for single or wed.
There's none so many
as pretty young Jenny
For eighteenpence on the bed."

Pure and uncorrupted, twelve to the shilling pence of course.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Did Tommy not do some self-publishing or something? Has my brain totally slipped its cogs?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 10:43 AM

We've got copies of Tommy's little booklet but it only contains the usual 5 songs and very little in the way of provenance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 02:22 PM

Does EFDDS have any songs Steve?

I had that that copy of Long Tom also, need atune

What about the Cock and The Ass? was that Tommy's (dunt google it anyone! lol)

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 03:22 PM

The Cock and the Ass sounds familiar. Is it the same as The Old Woman and her Ass? Don't know if EFDSS have any of Tommy's stuff but I'll be there next week and I could ask.

I presume we need that extra verse of PK for the YG website. Do you want me to add it in? If so I'll need to include your proper name Ebor Fiddler. If you don't want folk to know you can pm me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 01 Oct 12 - 04:31 AM

Yes I sing the Cock and The Ass, and Mike Harding had a similar song, I don't know about his provenance, but assumed that he had infact embroided the original TD song (dunt know really)

There was an old woman a likely old lass who wandered round batley with a cart and a ass, every day her living to mek, this old woman mucky washing did tek with me fal de rol lol, fal di rol lol, fol di rol fol de rol fol de rol day

There was an old man whose knees they did knock, altho a small man he'd a large Red Rhode Island cock etc~~~~~~

lol
Ray
Yes please re EFDSS ta!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 04:30 AM

r.padgett: Poverty Knock interesting re rent man, as the noise of the loom has been questioned!

Never heard anything about the rent man, and ALL my female relatives of my mother's generation, both sides of the family, were "Poverty Knockers", some for a short time, most for all of their working lives.

As I said above a couple of years ago, the old-model Yorkshire *woollen* mill looms (as opposed to Lancastrian cotton looms)definitely made a sound that could be rendered as "poverty knock". I've heard them! My relatives always said that that's why they were called Poverty Knockers.

And the clincher is that Yorkshire people, particularly in the West Riding, however hard they struggled, would never admit to being in "poverty"...it's one thing to refer in humour to the sound a loom makes, another entirely to personalise the poverty to the knock of a rent man. My eldest aunt was denied the chance of a grammar school education, even though she passed the exams, because my grandparents would have had to get financial help to be able to buy the uniform. Such help *was* available, but there was NO WAY they'd ever consider asking for "charity". If they couldn't pay their way they went without. And that went for the whole village. So my auntie Nora went into t' mill rather than doing what she's always dreamed of and becoming a teacher.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Sugwash
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 04:48 AM

I learnt the Cock and the Ass from Mick Haywood, I believe Mike Harding got it from the same source.

I've always thought it was Irish in origin, but when I sang it in a pub in Culfin it was met with total stunned silence that only needed some tumble weed to complete the scene.

Andy Sugden


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: r.padgett
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 04:56 AM

Thanks Rob and Andy for clarification and confirmation re "Knocks" and cock and ass song

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,kathy
Date: 05 Jan 17 - 06:39 AM

I have had doubts cast on the validity of the verse where the yarn is dipped in the "tarn". Is it part of the original song, or a verse that was added later?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 05 Jan 17 - 09:17 AM

Might never know about that Kathy ~ probably made up by the mill girls or even Tommy

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: leeneia
Date: 05 Jan 17 - 11:55 AM

I had to laugh at this in the second post. "the book Victoria's Inferno."

It's a clear example of a common cliche - put in a woman and make it her fault.

Queen Victoria didn't have any mills.   Mills were owned, operated and supervised by men. Victoria and her husband, Albert, felt more concern for the poor of the nation than did the men who were on the scene, exploiting them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 05 Jan 17 - 07:15 PM

Chumbawamba on YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7syQl-2l1Y

mainly Norfolk:
https://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/povertyknock.html

Thomas.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 06 Jan 17 - 05:01 AM

I recorded Poverty knocks from Mick Haywood in 2006 for the yorkshire garland song db ~ sung by Mick Haywood who was a good friend of Tom Daniel~ I note that the notes by Steve Gardham show this as traditional ~ relevant comments mainly above

The mainly norfolk is a good supplement for the provenance ~ Pete Coe's instrumental accompaniment is really a lament ~ surely the mill girls would have hit this song much harder, more of a protest and the traditional knock knock would be and should be loud as Tommy himself would have done! ~ Pete has lost the regional dialect ~ which obviously grates with me (West Yorkshire)

check yorkshire folk song/Yorkshire Garland ~ note Mick Haywood and Wendy Price still alive in Whitby, first hand authorities on Tom Daniel

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 15 May 17 - 08:45 PM

We are presenting a workshop at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival on June 10. We have done this workshop many times but it has been a while so we were refreshing what's left of our brains on the subject of the textile industry in England where all this started.

We came across a passage in a pamphlet entitled, "Looms and Weaving" by Anna Benson and Neil Warburton, published in 1986 which says, "The most unpopular aspect of woollen handloom weaving was wetting weft cops to facilitate close packing of the weft threads. Cops of yarn were immersed in cold water and the weaver sucked water through them with a wooden tube. "

This may explain the mysterious verse in "Poverty Knock" that says:

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.

A cop, or pirn, was a long, narrow bobbin which held the weft thread. It fit inside the shuttle which carried it across the warp threads, the action being called a "pick". After each pick, the last weft thread was packed, or "beaten up", against the previous weft threads by a comb-like device. Apparently, when wool (or at least certain kinds of wool) was being used, proper packing could only be achieved when the yarn or thread was wet. Since the yarn was already wound onto the cop, the whole thing had to be dipped into the "tarn" which we infer was some kind of vessel that held the water. Then, in order to wet the yarn all the way through, a wooden tube was attached to the center hole of the cop while blocking up the other end somehow. Then, when one sucked on the tube, a partial vacuum was created inside the cop which drew in the water all the way to the center of the winding. Continuous sucking on the tube could easily have made one dizzy or, as the song says, groggy.

Bev and Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 15 May 17 - 08:51 PM

A little more:

We have a pirn or cop in our possession and we just looked at it. It is closed at one end. The other end is open so it can slide down over a rod attached to the shuttle.

Bev and Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 16 May 17 - 04:04 AM

Interesting as I always that "tarn" was a body of water like a lake or mill type reservoir ~ but this certainly puts a different slant on the verse

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 May 17 - 04:22 AM

(Totally irrelevant)
My Irish mother used to call hiccups 'Hunger Knock'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Poverty Knock
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 16 May 17 - 04:32 AM

"cop
A yarn package spun on a mule or ring spindle. A paper, cardboard, wooden, plastic or metal tube is used as the core of the package."

from weaving terminology

Not an expert on weaving btw!!

Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 July 6:40 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.