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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Reinhard Lyr Req: Doffin Mistress/Doffing Mistress (18) RE: Lyr Req: Doffin Mistress/Doffing Mistress 22 Jan 21


Thank you, Sandman. Varo's verses are indeed different from the usual Doffing Mistress version. But I don't think that Gemma Khawaya is one of them?

Varo write in their liner notea:

This track is a traditional song from the linen-mills of Northern Ireland, we got it from Rosy Brondi who in turn learned it from Belfast singer Mary Mulrine.

The ‘doffing mistress’ was the supervisor of the young ladies working in the spinning sheds. The line, “She hangs her coat on the highest pin” refers to the fact that she could stand up straight, as opposed to the workers, who were bent double at the spinning machines all day.

The Doffing Mistress sung by Varo

Oh do you know her or, do you not,
This doffing mistress that we have got.
Oh Agnes Savage it is her name
And she hangs her coat on the highest pin.

Chorus (after each verse):
Riddley rightful oh,
Riddley rightful ray

On Monday morning when she comes in
She hangs her coat on the highest pin.
She turns around for to view her girls,
Sayin, “Damn you daughters, lay up your ends.” [shouldn't that be doffers?]

“Lay up our ends we will surely do,
Our hands are steady our eyes are true.
Lay up our ends we will surely do,
But for Lizzie Murphy and not for you.”

When Agnes Savage comes up the path
She spreads her feet like a big jackass,
She makes a noise like an elephant’s trunk,
Aye, and all the doffers they swear she's drunk.

Oh Lizzie Murphy you went away,
It’s every night for you we pray.
You left us here with a broken heart,
Now there's no-one left for to take our part.

“Lay up our ends we will surely do,
Our hands are steady our eyes are true.
Lay up our ends we will surely do,
But for Lizzie Murphy and not for you.”


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