The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165798   Message #4167210
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
10-Mar-23 - 04:50 AM
Thread Name: Songs for International Women's Day (March 8)
Subject: RE: Songs for International Women's Day (March 8)
Ethel Carnie Holdsworth was born in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire in 1886. She began work in a cotton mill when she was eleven. Aged twenty, she left to become a writer and the first working-class woman to publish a novel. Her successful novels included Miss Nobody and This Slavery, both dramatised by BBC Radio 4 in October 2022. She was an active socialist too. This song is a tribute to her.

This Slavery by Henry Peacock; sung to St Denio, based on a traditional Welsh ballad and familiar as the hymn tune for "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise".

The mill owner stands at the gate with his key
While inside the workers all long to be free
They lie down so weary at the end of the day
And dream that a new world will soon come their way

Chorus; You may call me a mill girl or Miss Nobody
But no-one can keep me in this slavery

A world where the hungry can find food to eat
And those who go barefoot have shoes for their feet
Where those who go ragged shall have clothes to wear
And all those who labour receive their fair share


Where walls that divide us fall down to the ground
And we can roam freely the country all round
Where we have a pathway up to the great heights
And we have a party to fight for our rights!


One hundred years later, what have we to show
As prices rise higher and wages stay low?
Poor families must choose if they heat or they eat
And then pay their rent or be thrown on the street