The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #151940   Message #3551530
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
21-Aug-13 - 04:40 PM
Thread Name: Linen Industry Songs
Subject: RE: Linen Industry Songs
Wee Weaver; from Mainly Norfolk
[Roud 3378; Ballad Index RcWeeWea; trad.]

Paddy Tunny sang The Wee Weaver in 1975 on his Topic album The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow and on the 1998 Topic anthology There Is a Man Upon the Farm (The Voice of the People Volume 20). Cathal O'BaĆ³ill commented in the original album's sleeve notes:

This is one of many tunes written in Ireland by home weavers. Previous to the home weavers, the main song writers of the people were the hedge-schoolmasters. The song is a simple tale of requited love, and it is this very quality of love story which links it to the pastourelle of the Provencal troubadours who usually 'rode out', where Willie and Mary could only 'roam'.

The scene is set close to Lough Erne but could as well have been set in any part of Ireland where the weaver might have worked. The tune is pentatonic and in the lah mode. It was recorded [in 1952] by [Paddy's mother] Brigid Tunney on BBC No. 18527.

I am a wee weaver confined to my loom,
My lover she's as fair as the red rose in June.
She is loved by all lovers which does anger me
My heart's in the bosom of lovely Mary.