The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151940   Message #3551442
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
21-Aug-13 - 01:20 PM
Thread Name: Linen Industry Songs
Subject: RE: Linen Industry Songs
You Might Easy Know a Doffer

You might easy know a doffer
When she comes into town
With her long yellow hair
And her pickers hanging down
With her rubber tied before her
And her scraper in her hand
You will easy know a doffer
For she'll always get a man
Oh, she'll always get a man
Oh, she'll always get a man
You will easy know a doffer
For she'll always get a man

You might easy know a weaver
When she comes into town
With her old greasy hair
And her scissors hanging down
With a shawl around her shoulders
And a shuttle in her hand
You will easy know a weaver
For she'll never get a man
No, she'll never get a man
No, she'll never get a man
You will easy know a weaver
For she'll never get a man.

Note: There was a distinct class rivalry between various elements of the weaving trade. From Songs of Belfast, Hammond

http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/work/northern_ireland/ni_8/audio_2.shtml

In the 1930's we had about fifty to sixty thousand people employed in the linen industry, directly employed in the linen industry, a very important time.

Most of the spinning mills where in North Belfast and in West Belfast. In North Belfast you had Brookfield mill, you had Lindsey Thompsons, you had Edenderry, you had Ewarts and on the Falls you had Greeves, and you had Ross Brothers and Kennedys. In East Belfast we had the Strand mill.

Well you were a dogsbody, you know, gofer, as I say, go for this and go for that and do this and do that. And you had to scrub your spinners stand out and it was half the length of this street and usually dried it with bags, you know sacking and it was really a competition as to who had the best doffer.

Every Monday when you started in the mill you had to have a clean slip, you called it a slip or overall and then you had your rubber tied round you, kind of a rubbery apron affair and you had your pickers on and what you called a bandcord tied round that again. The pickers was for if any of the ends broke and this flyer was flying round, so fine you couldn't find it and you had to pick it out with this picker, get the end to tie it up again and let it fly on. So that's why they say about the doffer and the picker in her hand you see.