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Lyr Req: Hard Times (from Harry Boardman)

GUEST,CB 24 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 10 - 05:30 PM
Wolfgang 01 Sep 10 - 01:18 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Hard Times by Harry Boardman
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 04:07 PM


Anyone got the lyrics to this?

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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD TIMES (Harry Whitehead)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 05:30 PM

The Harry Boardman recording is on a Topic album called New Voices: an album of first recordings by Harry Boardman, Maureen Craik, and the Waterson Family. Boardman's singing is very hard for me to understand, but I made out enough to be able to Google lyrics that are almost exactly the same. They're from this Website, and also in a book titles Songs of the People: Lancashire Dialect Poetry of the Industrial Revolution, By Brian Hollingworth, available at Google Books

(H. B. Whitehead)

Yoh munnut come agen hard times;
We thowt those days were done,
When th' dust lay thick i' th' jinny-gate,
Where the wheels no longer run;
When th' yed-stocks stood like silent ghosts,
And th' straps and ropes were still;
Where o abeawt 'em seemed to say,
"There's nowt to do i' th' mill."

Yoh munnut come agen hard times,
For Owdham's had its share.
When th' purse were thin, and times were bad,
And ther' weren't mich to spare;
When nob'dy axed, or seemed to care,
Heaw were its troubles met?
Thoose wounds lie deep, the scars remain,
The folk remember yet.

Yoh munnut come to haunt these streets,
Where once yoh left your mark;
Where care and want together walked,
Wi' thousands eawt o' wark;
Where daycent men, fro' daycent whoms,
Wi' brocken heart and soul,
Went trudgin' deawn that hopeless road,
To th' means test and the dole.

Notes (from the Dunkerley-Tuson Family Website):
    Hard Times
    by H. B. Whitehead (1890 - )
    From ‘Lancashire Miscellany’, edited by James Benett
    Published by Hirst, Kidd & Rennie Ltd., Oldham, 1960.
    Harry Whitehead was a Saddleworth poet born at Diggle, where my great grandfather, Robert Buckley Sykes, was also born, in 1856. At the age of six he moved to Hilltop near Delph where he lived until about 13, working as a woollen piecer, and it was there he began to feel the first stirrings of a poetic nature. His greatest success has come in poems descriptive of the countryside. He also wrote poetry in standard English.

    The following poem sounds like the work of one who has been through 'hard times' in the cotton industry. Given his epoch that could only be the slump after the short-lived boom that followed the First World War, and led to the terminal decline of the Lancashire cotton industry, but the poem doesn't quite have that ring. The folk memory in Lancashire of hardship suffered by the cotton industry workers was long, however (as hinted in the poem), so conceivably Whitehead is harking back to a time in 1892 when he was a toddler and a strike of over twenty weeks duration paralysed Oldham and ended with hunger and nakedness in the streets of the town. Or it might have been a time 30 years earlier during the Cotton Famine, when the American Civil War meant that no raw cotton could reach Lancashire and again there was actual starvation and widespread hardship.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Hard Times (from Harry Boardman)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Sep 10 - 01:18 PM

BTW, the tune Harry Boardman sings to these lyrics on New Voices has ben written by himself.


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