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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Uke Tune Req: Little Jim (22) RE: Tune Req: Little Jim 09 Dec 03

Hi again everyone, (Joe, thanks for your message).

Here are the entire lyrics for the parody of "Little Jim" that I mentioned at the start of this thread.

It is entitled "Little Hope" and was written around 1925 by 'The Mixer', the non-de-plume of Henry Kirk, a wharfie and union secretary in Greymouth, New Zealand. I got it from an amazing and very rare book of his lyrics called "The Transport Worker's Songbook" (1927, Wellington).


The cottage was a 'lean-to',
The worst I'd ever seen -
Yes, everything, inside and out,
Should be burnt with kerosene.

The night was dark and stormy;
The roof let in the rain;
A woman caight it in a pail,
And threw it out again.

A little worn-out creature,
Whose once bright life was spent
To keep body and soul together,
And pay the blasted rent.

And oh! to see the chimney stack
Semaphoring in the wind!
You'd think the darned thing's coming down;
It's somehow tied behind,

Lest she might wake up some morning
To find it blown away,
The landlord then would raise the rent
Another bob a day.

With broom uplifted, see her belt
The rats along the floor;
While the spiders parachute the bugs
Across from door to door.

With trembling hands she fixed the sash
Of the window with a cleat;
A gust of wind came through the back
And blew it in the street.

She gets her answer very quick,
When she wants the shack repaired;
And told to find another place -
No money can be spared.

To her it must be hell on earth
To live in such a place;
And to this God's-own Massey-land
A damnable disgrace.

"Massey-land" refers to the NZ's Prime Minister of the day, Bill Massey. The term "God's-own" is used ironically here - NZ'ers like to refer to their country as 'Godzone', ie. heaven on Earth.

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