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Lyr Add: Woman's Work Is Never Done

Genie 09 Dec 01 - 01:33 PM
Snuffy 09 Dec 01 - 06:37 PM
doc.tom 01 Jun 11 - 09:42 AM
Jim Dixon 02 Jun 11 - 12:37 AM
Jim Dixon 02 Jun 11 - 01:01 AM
Jim Dixon 02 Jun 11 - 01:34 AM
GUEST,Hilary 02 Jun 11 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Jun 11 - 08:58 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: A WOMAN'S WORK IS NEVER DONE
From: Genie
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 01:33 PM

Another recent thread was about The Farmer and His Wife-- a song in which the man bets his wife that he can do more work in a day than she can, and he, of course, loses. This song is a variation on the same theme, though not the same song at all. It does not appear to be posted in the forum or DT, so here it is, for all you overworked Mudcat women!

Genie


A Woman's Work is Never Done
The song was printed in England on broadsides in the mid 1800s. It was printed as (A) Woman Never Knows When Her Day's Work's Done, A Married Woman's Work is Never Done and is noted as sung to the tune Far, Far Upon The Sea.

Come all who roam, both old and young, and listen to my song,
I'll tell you of a circumstance, that will not keep you long;
I saw a man the other day, as savage as a Turk,
And he was grumbling at his wife and said she did no work.

So men, if you would happy be, don't grumble at your wife so;
For no man can imagine what a woman has to do.

He said: You lazy huzzy! Indeed you must confess;
For I'm a-tired of keeping you in all your idleness.
The woman she made answer: I work as hard as you,
And I will just run through the list what a woman has to do.

So men, if you would happy be, don't grumble at your wife so;
For no man can imagine what a woman has to do.

At six o'clock each morning off to your work you go;
At eight I rise to light the fire and the bellows for to blow;
I have to set the tea things' and get the kettle boiled;
Besides, you know, I have to wash and dress the youngest child.

So men, if you would happy be, don't grumble at your wife so;
For no man can imagine what a woman has to do.

I have to shake and make the bed, and sweep the room also,
I have to knit, I have to spin, I have to sit and sew;
Besides, and this you well do know, I always make a rule
To wash and dress the little ones and send them off to school.

So men if you would happy be, don't grumble at your wife so;
But think of your poor mother, how she put up with you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Woman's Work Is Never Done
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 06:37 PM

I don't know 'Far, Far Upon The Sea', but it sounds like it would sing well to 'The Nutting Girl'.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Woman's Work Is Never Done
From: doc.tom
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 09:42 AM

"The song was printed in England on broadsides in the mid 1800s. It was printed as (A) Woman Never Knows When Her Day's Work's Done, A Married Woman's Work is Never Done and is noted as sung to the tune Far, Far Upon The Sea." There are several versions of the Broadside in question in the Bodlian - but they are a different song, and a different scan. A friend is trying to find a tune for the song quoted above (it is NOT Far, Far upon the sea)- anyone any ideas? (Nutting Girl does not work well).
TomB


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Subject: Lyr Add: A WOMAN'S WORK IS NEVER OVER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 12:37 AM

From The Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads collection, Firth c.20(121):

A WOMAN'S WORK IS NEVER OVER
Written by Mr. C. Fry, Author of 'The Orphan Boy's Prayer,' 'A Good Wife's Love,' 'A Good Wife is a Treasure,' &c. &c.

Come all you married women and listen to my song.
You'll acknowledge I am right when it is over.
If you will attention pay, I'll soon prove what I say,
That a married woman's work is never over.
O my! a woman's work is never done.
Some men they think their wives they live in clover,
But if they the truth will speak, they know the live-long week,
That a married woman's work is never over.

O my! list to what I say,
The men they think their wives do live in clover.
Let the world say what it will, I can say and prove it still,
That a married woman's work is never over.

They must wash and iron, too; they must mangle, starch and blue.
They must wash little Mary, too, and Freddy,
And then just like a goose, they get nothing but abuse,
If their husband's dinner is not ready.
O my! when dinner it is o'er—
It's just the same from London down to Dover—
When his pipe he has smoked out, he goes grumbling about.
O a married woman's work is never over.

Some men think it a sin, if you take a drop of gin,
But I can see no harm in it whatever.
When the men go out at night, and come home jolly tight,
No doubt they think themselves vastly clever.
O my! if I caught 'em on a bridge,
With a woman that I know—her name is Plover,
Before you could say, 'bo!' in the water he would go,
For saying that a woman's work is over.

The stove they clean with lead, wash the things and make the bed,
And then they'll go and see poor Mrs. Atkins,
Then they'll run back through the dirt for to wash your dirty shirt,
Mend your trousers and wash the baby's napkins.
O my! a woman is a slave.
She works while her husband is a rover.
She toils her life away, and this I plainly say,
That a married woman's work is never over.

I knew a woman once, and her name was Mrs. Bunce,
And she had a friend, a Mrs. Baker.
Her husband came home one night, said, "You never can do right."
He was by trade an artificial flower maker.
O my! he had scarcely began,
When the flat-iron hit him on the shoulder.
"You wretch, how dare you speak? I've been toiling all the week,
For you know a woman's work is never over."

So women old and young, you've all heard what I've sung
And I'm sure you'll say it's truth that I have spoken,
And the man that says it's wrong, may he never use his tongue,
And his pipe and his 'bacco box be broken.
O my! list to what I say,
And think of this song when it is over.
Now if you say what you will, I can say and prove it still,
That a married woman's work is never over.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A WOMAN NEVER KNOWS WHEN HER DAY'S WORK'S
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 01:01 AM

From Modern Street Ballads by John Ashton (London: Chatto & Windus, 1888), page 5. (Several copies are also in the Bodleian collection.)


A WOMAN NEVER KNOWS WHEN HER DAY'S WORK'S DONE.

1. Now just attend to me,
Married men of all degree,
While I tell you the vicissitudes of life.
There's nothing, understand,
Half so pleasing to a man,
As a good temper'd, kind, and loving wife.
She is always at her work,
Tho' sometimes used like a Turk.
Here and everywhere compelled she has to run.
While a man can banish care,
Drown sorrow and dull care,
A woman never knows when her day's work's done.

CHORUS: Then just attend to me:
To your wives be kind and free,
And never mind the clatter of her tongue.
If you the truth will speak,
You know the live-long week,
A woman never knows when her day's work's done.

2. That man must be a fool,
Who will strive his wife to rule,
Or drive her, like an elephant, about.
You will find ere you begin,
You may knock nine devils in,
But never can you knock one devil out.
We nothing ought to hear,
But "my darling" and "my dear,"
And to please his wife a man should miles run.
Her all indulgence give,
Then happy will he live,
For a woman never knows when her day's work's done.

3. Every married man should know
They now have made a law,
That if any man should dare ill-use his wife,
Six months he will bewail
In a dark and dismal jail,
With heavy irons on him day and night.
Men, be advised by me:
Use the women tenderly,
And to please her you must always cheerful run,
For you all must know full well,
If the truth you will but tell,
That a woman never knows when her day's work's done.

4. Married women take advice:
Get you everything that's nice,
A little drop of brandy, rum, or gin,
And if your husband should complain,
Give the compliment again,
And whack him with the wooden rolling-pin.
When some women well behaves,
They're oft used worse than slaves,
And must not dare to use their pretty tongue.
Let the world say what it will,
I will say, and prove it still,
That a woman never knows when her day's work's done.

5. They must wash and iron on.
They must mangle, starch, and blue.
They must get your victuals ready in a crack.
They must get you tea and toast.
They must frizzle, fry, and roast,
And wash the dirty shirt upon your back.
They must clean the quilt and rugs.
They must hunt the fleas and bugs.
They must nurse your little daughter and your son,
And, like a poor goose,
Get nothing but abuse.
A woman never knows when her day's work's done.

CHORUS: Men, to your wives be kind.
Thus pleasure you will find,
And happy through the world you will run.
You must surely tell a lie,
If this statement you deny:
A woman never knows when her day's work's done.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Woman's Work Is Never Done
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 01:34 AM

A Midi file for A WOMAN'S WORK IS NEVER DONE (whose lyrics Genie posted on 09-Dec-2001) can be found at http://www.contemplator.com/england/womanw.html.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Woman's Work Is Never Done
From: GUEST,Hilary
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 07:47 AM

"Father Grumble" is another song of Aarne-Thompson type 1408. It's in Lomax's Folksongs of North America.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Woman's Work Is Never Done
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 Jun 11 - 08:58 AM

see also Equinoxial and Phoebe

a version of that song about the competition/work exchange between a farmer and his wife was recorded in Co Fermanagh Ireland


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