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a piecers tale

GUEST,DK 20 Aug 11 - 02:25 PM
giles earle 20 Aug 11 - 02:43 PM
Mark Dowding 21 Aug 11 - 09:30 AM
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Subject: a peicers tale
From: GUEST,DK
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 02:25 PM

Anyone have the lyrics to this Oldham Tinkers song. It begins 'Good Master, let a little child, a Peicer in your factory'


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Subject: RE: a peicers tale
From: giles earle
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 02:43 PM

Is this it?


Good master, let a little child, a piecer in your factory
From early dawn to dewy eve—relate her simple history.
Before I came to work for you, my heart was full of mirth and glee;
I play'd and laugh'd, and ran about, no kitten was so blythe as me.
But just when I was eight years old, poor mother, press'd with want and woe,
Took me one morning by the hand, and said, 'To factory thou must go.'
They thrust me in and shut the door, 'midst rattling wheels and noisy din,
And in the frame gait made me stand, to learn the art of piecen-ing.
I often hurt my little hands, and made my tender fingers bleed,
When piecing threads and stopping flys, and thought 'twas very hard indeed.
The overlooker pass'd me oft, and when he cried, 'An end down there,'
My little heart did tremble so, I almost tumbled down with fear.
When at the weary evening's close I could not keep myself awake,
He sometimes strapp'd me till I cry'd as if my little heart would break.
Oh, master! did you know the half that we endure, to gain you gold
Your heart might tremble for the day when that sad tale must all be told.
Ah! then I thought of days gone by, when, far from spindles, din, and heat,
I deck'd my little giddy brow with buttercups and violets sweet.
From year to year I sigh in vain, for time to play, and time to read.
We come so soon, and leave so late, that nought we know but mill and bed.
They tell us you grow very rich, by little piec'ners such as me,
And that you're going to Parliament, to guard our laws and liberty,
They say you pity Negro Slaves, and vow, oppressors to restrain,
To break the chains of ignorance, and Christian Principles maintain.
Oh! when you're there remember us, whilst at your frames we labour still,
And give your best support and aid to Mr. Saddler's Ten Hours Bill.
The poor, we know, must work for bread, but, master, are not we too young?
Yet if such little ones must work, pray do not work us quite so long!
Your 'Christian Principles' now prove, and hearken to the piec'ners prayer,
Soon Christ in judgment shall appear, remember, you must meet us there.


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Subject: RE: a piecers tale
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 09:30 AM

The version the Tinkers sing is slightly abridged to the words given above. I've put it in verse form to make it easier to follow. Michael Saddler was an MP who fought for shorter hours. Unfortunately he lost his seat in the 1832 elections but eventually working hours for women and children were reduced to 10 hours a day.

Good master, let a little child, a piecer in your factory
From early dawn to dewy eve—relate her simple history.
Before I came to work for you, my heart was full of mirth and glee;
I play'd and laugh'd, and ran about, no kitten was so blythe as me.

But just when I was eight years old, poor mother, press'd with want and woe,
Took me one morning by the hand, and said, 'To factory thou must go.'
They thrust me in and shut the door, 'midst rattling wheels and noisy din,
And in the frame gait made me stand, to learn the art of piecen-ing.

I often hurt my little hands, and made my tender fingers bleed,
When piecing threads and stopping flys, and thought 'twas very hard indeed.
The overlooker pass'd me oft, and when he cried, 'An end down there,'
My little heart did tremble so, I almost tumbled down with fear.

When at the weary evening's close I could not keep myself awake,
He sometimes strapp'd me till I cry'd as if my little heart would break.
Oh, master! did you know the half that we endure, to gain you gold
Your heart might tremble for the day when that this sad tale must be told.

They tell us you grow very rich, by little piec'ners such as me,
And that you're going to Parliament, to guard our laws and liberty,
Oh! when you're there remember us, whilst at your frames we labour still,
And give your best support and aid to Saddler's Ten Hours Bill.


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Mudcat time: 16 August 10:46 PM EDT

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