The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2173   Message #932477
Posted By: Mary Humphreys
13-Apr-03 - 02:15 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Poverty Knock
Subject: ADD Version: Poverty Knock
This is the full text of the song as emailed to me by Angi & Mick Haywood over the weekend. They have also emailed a biog of Tommy which is too long to post. Anyone wanting it can PM me and I will send it on.


POVERTY KNOCK

Poverty, poverty knock,
My loom is a-saying all day;
Poverty, poverty knock,
Gaffer's too skinny to pay:

Poverty, poverty knock,
Keeping one eye on the clock;
I know I can guttle
When I hear my shuttle,
Go poverty, poverty knock.

Up every morning at five,
A wonder that we keep alive.
Tired and yawning
On a cold morning,
Back to the old weary drive.

Oh dear! We're going to be late,
Gaffer is stood at the gate.
We're out of pocket
Our wages they dock it,
We have to buy grub on the slate.

Oh, how my poor hear sings,
I should have woven three strings
But threads are breaking
My back is aching
Oh dear, I wish I had wings.

We have to wet our own yarn,
Dipping it into the tarn
It's wet an' soggy
Makes us feel groggy,
With mice in that dirty old barn.

Sometimes a-shuttle flies out,
Gives some poor weaver a clout;
There she lies bleeding Nobody's heeding,
Who's going to carry her out?

Tuner should tackle my loom,
He'd rather sit on his bum;
He's much too busy
A courtin' o'r Lizzie,
I cannot get him to cum'.

Lizzie is easily led,
They say that her takes to be;
She used to be skinny
Now just look at her pinny
It's just about time they were wed.


This worksong dates back to the early power looms. Owing to low wages and the slow dreary   "knock-ity knock" sound of the looms, weavers were called "Poverty Knockers.

The tempo should be slow 3/4, but strongly accentuated.