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(Broadside ballad)

The cloth was laid in the workhouse halls
Greatcoats hung on the whitewashed walls
The paupers all were blythe and gay
Keeping their Christmas holiday

And we all of us say it
And we say it with sneers
Jamie's been murdered by the overseer
[Repeated after each verse]

When the master he said with a murderous leer
You'll all get fat on your Christmas cheer
And each by his looks he seemed to say
I'll have some more soup on this Christmas day

At length all of us to bed were sent
A boy was missing and in search we went
We sought him high and we sought him low
We sought him with faces of grief and woe

We sought him that hour and we sought him that night
We sought him in fear and we sought him in fright
When I heard a young pauper who then did cry
We'll all have to starve till we find that boy

At length the soup copper repairs did need
The coppersmith came and there he see'd
A pile of bones lay a-sizzling there
And the leg of the breeches the boy did wear

Source: Recorded by The Halliard (Nic Jones, Tony Rose and Jon Raven) 'Broadsid
filename[ WORKHBOY

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