The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #88922   Message #1672311
Posted By: Joe Offer
18-Feb-06 - 05:47 PM
Thread Name: DTStudy Lewiston/Lowell Factory Girl
Subject: ADD: The Lowell Factory Girl
Look how close this one is to the Lewiston song. Lewiston, by the way, is in Maine. Lowell is in northern Massachusetts. The National Park Service did a wonderful job of preserving several old textile mills at Lowell National Historical Park.


When I set out for Lowell,
Some factory for to find,
I left my native country,
And all my friends behind.

Then sing hit-re-i-re-a-re-o
Then sing hit-re-i-re-a.

But now I am in Lowell,
And summon'd by the bell,
I think less of the factory
Than of my native dell.

The factory bell begins to ring,
And we must all obey,
And to our old employment go,
Or else be turned away.

Come all ye weary factory girls,
I'll have you understand,
I'm going to leave the factory
And return to my native land.

No more I'll put my bonnet on
And hasten to the mill,
While all the girls are working hard,
Here I'll be lying still.

No more I'll lay my bobbins up,
No more I'll take them down;
No more I'll clean my dirty work,
For I'm going out of town.

No more I'll take my piece of soap,
No more I'll go to wash,
No more my overseer shall say,
"Your frames are stopped to doff."

Come all you little doffers
That work in the Spinning room;
Go wash your face and comb your hair,
Prepare to leave the room.

No more I'll oil my picker rods,
No more I'll brush my loom,
No more I'll scour my dirty floor
All in the Weaving room.

No more I'll draw these threads
All through the harness eye;
No more I'll say to my overseer,
Oh! dear me, I shall die.

No more I'll get my overseer
To come and fix my loom,
No more I'll say to my overseer
Can't I stay out 'till noon?

Then since they've cut my wages down
To nine shillings per week,
If I cannot better wages make,
Some other place I'll seek.

No more he'll find me reading,
No more he'll see me sew,
No more he'll come to me and say
"Such works I can't allow."

I do not like my overseer,
I do not mean to stay,
I mean to hire a Depot-boy
To carry me away.

The Dress-room girls, they needn't think
Because they higher go,
That they are better than the girls
That work in the rooms below.

The overseers they need not think,
Because they higher stand;
That they are better than the girls
That work at their command.

'Tis wonder how the men
Can such machinery make,
A thousand wheels together roll
Without the least mistake.

Now soon you'll see me married
To a handsome little man,
'Tis then I'll say to you factory girls,
Come and see me when you can.

—Broadside in Harris Collection, Brown University.

from American Folksongs of Protest, John Greenway, 1953
(no tune available)