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Origins: Work of the Weavers

DigiTrad:
THE WORK OF THE LANDLORD
THE WORK OF THE WEAVERS


GUEST 14 Nov 02 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 14 Nov 02 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Terry 14 Nov 02 - 11:37 AM
IanC 14 Nov 02 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Terry in Boston 14 Nov 02 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Don 08 Sep 04 - 10:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Sep 04 - 12:25 AM
GUEST,Don 17 Sep 04 - 10:31 PM
Jeanie 18 Sep 04 - 03:06 AM
Leadfingers 18 Sep 04 - 06:03 AM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Sep 04 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,Don 20 Sep 04 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,Don 20 Sep 04 - 11:08 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jul 09 - 03:01 PM
RunrigFan 30 Jan 21 - 08:48 PM
Tattie Bogle 31 Jan 21 - 07:38 PM
weerover 01 Feb 21 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,m 01 Feb 21 - 07:46 AM
RunrigFan 01 Feb 21 - 08:11 AM
RunrigFan 01 Feb 21 - 08:13 AM
Reinhard 01 Feb 21 - 11:46 AM
Felipa 29 Dec 21 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Nac Mac Feagle 29 Dec 21 - 03:42 PM
GUEST 29 Dec 21 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 29 Dec 21 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Dec 21 - 02:35 AM
GUEST,mayomick 30 Dec 21 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Dec 21 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,mayomick 31 Dec 21 - 09:03 AM
Mrrzy 31 Dec 21 - 09:41 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:08 AM

I would like to perform this tune but am having problems with the Scottish pronounciations. Does anyone know of a translated version?
Lyrics would be great, but if not a list of recordings with Anglisized lyrics would help.

Scottish version here:

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=7175

Thank you very much.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:20 AM

Heracy !!! Whit's wrang wi singin it in the Scots. Ya sassenach.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 11:37 AM

>Heracy !!! Whit's wrang wi singin it in the Scots. Ya sassenach.

No smiley? Ok then:

Answer-The same problem I would have with singing it in Vietmanese-mispronounciations and the story get's lost on the audience because they can't understand it either.

Terry in Boston


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Subject: ADD Version: Work of the Weavers
From: IanC
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 12:01 PM

Terry

This version, from an Irish Music site, has a more anglicised version.

Hope it's useful.

:-)

The Work Of The Weavers
(Trad)

We're all met together here to sit and to crack
Wi' our glasses in our hands and our work upon our back
There's nae a trade among 'em that can mend or can mak
If it wasn't for the work of the weavers

    If it was not for the weavers, what would you do?
    You wouldn'a hae the clothes that's made of wool
    You wouldn'a hae a coat of the black or the blue
    If it was not for the work of the weavers
There's soldiers and there's sailors and glaziers and all
There's doctors and there's ministers and them that live by law
And our friends in Sooth America, though them we never saw
But we can they wear the work of the weavers
    If it was not for the weavers, what would you do?
    You wouldn'a hae the clothes that's made of wool
    You wouldn'a hae a coat of the black or the blue
    If it was not for the work of the weavers
Though weavin' is a trade that never can fail
As long as we need clothes for to keep another hale
So let us all be merry o'er a bicker of good ale
And we'll drink to the health of the weavers
    If it was not for the weavers, what would you do?
    You wouldn'a hae the clothes that's made of wool
    You wouldn'a hae a coat of the black or the blue
    If it was not for the work of the weavers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,Terry in Boston
Date: 14 Nov 02 - 12:22 PM

Perfect! Thanks.


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Subject: Info reqd: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,Don
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 10:51 PM

What are the origins of "The Work Of The Weavers". Is it a Yorkshire song? If not, where? How old is it?


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Subject: RE: Info reqd: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 12:25 AM

I've never seen a suggestion that it was anything other than a Scottish song, the words written by Donald Shaw, a weaver of Forfar with Chartist sympathies who published two collections of poems in the mid 19th century. He died, it appears, in 1856.

The onsite search engine here (you'll see it at the top of every page) will get you various references if you type work of the weavers into it. It's also spelled wark, but that won't much affect search results here.


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Subject: origins: "work of the weavers"
From: GUEST,Don
Date: 17 Sep 04 - 10:31 PM

Where does the FS, "The Work of the Weavers" originate from? Yorkshire? Lancs? East Cheam? And when was it first collected/written etc. Thanking - in anticipation - all you FS experts.


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Subject: RE: origins: work of the weavers
From: Jeanie
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 03:06 AM

According to the book "Victoria's Inferno" edited by Jon Raven, the origin of "The Work of the Weavers" is:

" Text and melody: by David Shaw, a Forfar weaver, composed in the 1840's and sung, with other of his compositions, at trade and Chartist meetings during that period. Printed in 'Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland' by Robert Ford, 1899 and 1901."

All good wishes,
- jeanie


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Subject: RE: origins: work of the weavers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 06:03 AM

The Weavers was the Folk Club at RAF Steamer Point in Aden in 1967 .


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Subject: RE: origins: work of the weavers
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 10:01 AM

Your previous thread asking the same question is still here (above), at Info reqd: Origins: Work of the Weavers.


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Subject: RE: origins: work of the weavers
From: GUEST,Don
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 11:04 PM

Thankyou Jeanie for you help.
Don


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Subject: RE: Info reqd: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,Don
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 11:08 PM

Malcolm Douglas,
I missed you reply first time around... Summer sun is beginning to melt the brain..thanks for your help.
Don


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 03:01 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index has pretty good information on the origins of this song. I wonder if we can find an early text. Seems to me that the texts we have, have varying levels of removal of the Scottish accent. It would be good to see an original text.
Here's the Ballad Index entry:

Work of the Weavers, The

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "If it wasna for the weavers, what wad ye do?... Ye wadna hae a coat o the black or the blue Gin it wasna for the work o the weavers." The verses describe those who insult weavers, and how -- despite this -- they depend on the weavers
AUTHOR: David Shaw
EARLIEST DATE: 1904 (Ford)
KEYWORDS: weaving work
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Ford-Vagabond, pp. 200-202, "The Wark o' the Weavers" (1 text)
Greig #42, p. 2, "The Weavers" (1 text)
Ord, p. 391, "The Wark o' the Weavers" (1 text)
MacColl-Shuttle, pp. 10-11, "The Wark o' the Weavers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 127, "The Work of the Weavers" (1 text)
DT, WORKWEAV
ADDITIONAL: Jon Raven, _VIctoria's Inferno: Songs of the Old Mills, Mines, Manufacturies, Canals, and Railways_, Roadside Press, 1978, pp. 137-139, "The Wark o' the Weavers" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #374
RECORDINGS:
Liam Clancy, "The Weavers" (on IRLClancy01)
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "The Work of the Weavers" (on IRClancyMakem02)

NOTES [18 words]: The words of this song were published by David Shaw (died 1856). I don't know where the tune came from. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.1
File: FSWB127

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Here are the lyrics we have in the Digital Tradition Folk Song Database, which attributes the song to David Shaw*.

THE WORK OF THE WEAVERS
(David Shaw)

We are all met together here to sit and to crack
With our glasses in our hands and our work upon our backs
And there's not a trade among them all can neither mend nor mak
Gin it wasna for the work of the weavers

If it wasna for the weavers, what would you do
You wouldna hae cloth that's made o wool
Ye wouldna hae a coat neither black nor the blue
Gin it wasna for the work o the the weavers

The hireman chiels, they mock us and crack aye aboots
They say that we are thin faced, bleached like cloots
But yet for all their mockery, they canna do wi oots
No they canna want the work o the weavers

There's our rights and our slaters and glaziers and a'
Our doctors and ministers and them that live by law
And our friends in South America, tho them we never saw
But we know they wear the work of the weavers

There's our sailors and our soldiers, we know they're all bauld
But if they hadna clothes, faith they couldna live for cauld
The high and low, the rich and poor, a'body young and auld
They widna want the work o the weavers

There's folk that's independent of other tradesman work
The women need no barbers and dykers need no clerk
But none o them can do wi out a coat or a shirt
No, they canna want the work o the weavers

The weaving is a trade that never can fail
As longs we need a cloth to keep another hale
So let us aye be merry over a bicket of good ale
And drink a health to the weavers

Recorded by MacColl, Ray Fischer, the Corries and many others
@work @clothes @Scottish
filename[ WORKWEAV
TUNE FILE: WORKWEAV
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF



*Post from Jeanine above says: "Text and melody: by David Shaw, a Forfar weaver, composed in the 1840's and sung, with other of his compositions, at trade and Chartist meetings during that period. Printed in 'Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland' by Robert Ford, 1899 and 1901."


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Subject: Lyr Add: Wark O' The Weavers
From: RunrigFan
Date: 30 Jan 21 - 08:48 PM

Traditional song

Searched unless known by another name

We're all met together here to sit and to crack
Wi' our glasses in our hands and our work upon our back
There's nae a trade among 'em that can mend or can mak
If it wasn't for the work of the weavers

If it was not for the weavers, what would you do?
You wouldn'a hae the clothes that's made of wool
You wouldn'a hae a coat of the black or the blue
If it was not for the work of the weavers

There's soldiers and there's sailors and glaziers and all
There's doctors and there's ministers and them that live by law
And our friends in Sooth America, though them we never saw
But we can they wear the work of the weavers

If it was not for the weavers, what would you do?
You wouldn'a hae the clothes that's made of wool
You wouldn'a hae a coat of the black or the blue
If it was not for the work of the weavers

Though weavin' is a trade that never can fail
As long as we need clothes for to keep another hale
So let us all be merry o'er a bicker of good ale
And we'll drink to the health of the weavers

If it was not for the weavers, what would you do?
You wouldn'a hae the clothes that's made of wool
You wouldn'a hae a coat of the black or the blue
If it was not for the work of the weavers

-------------------------------------------------

Ray Fisher

We're a' met thegither here tae sit and tae crack,
Wi' oor glasses in oor hands and oor wark upon oor back.
There's no' a trade amang them a' could either mend or mak
If it wisnae for the wark o' the weavers.

Gin it wisnae for the weavers, what would we do?
We wadnae hae clatih made o' oor woo',
We wadnae hae a coat, na, neither black nor blue,
Gin it wisnae for the wark o' the weavers.

Now the hireman chiels they mock us and crack aye aboots,
They say that we are thin-faced, bleached like cloots,
And yet for a' their mockery they canna dae withoots,
Na they winna want the wark o' the weavers.

There's them that's independent o' ither tradesmen's work,
The women need nae barber, the dykers need nae clerk,
But nane o' them can dae wi'oot a coat or a sark,
Aye they a' need the wark o' the weavers.

Now oor joiners and oor slaters, oor glaziers and a',
Oor doctors and oor menisters and them that lead by law,
And oor freends in Sooth Americay, tho' them we never saw,
Yet we ken they wear the wark o' the weavers.

Oor sodgers and oor sailors, we ken they're a' bold,
But, faith, if they had nae claes they couldnae fecht for cold,
The high and low, the rich and poor, a'body young or old,
Aye they a' wear the wark o' the weavers.

Noo weavin' is a trade that never can fail,
As lang as we need aye cloot tae keep a body hale,
Sae let us a' get merry ower a bicker o' gud ale,
And drink tae the health o' the weavers.

North Sea Gas



We’re a’ met thegither here ae sit and tae crack,
Wi’ oor glasses in oor hands and oor wark upon oor back.
There’s no’ a trade amang them a’ could either mend or mak
If it wisnae for the wark o’ the weavers.

Chorus

if it wisnae for the weavers, what would we do?
We wadnae hae clati made o’ oor woo’,
We wadnae hae a coat, na, neither black nor blue,
Gin it wisnae for the wark o’ the weavers.

There’s them that’s independent o’ ither tradesmen’s work,
The women need nae barber, the dykers need nae clerk,
But nane o’ them can dae wi’oot a coat or a sark,
Aye they a’ need the wark o’ the weavers.

Oor sodgers and oor sailors, we ken they’re a’ bold,
But, faith, if they had nae claes they couldnae fecht for cold,
The high and low, the rich and poor, a’body young or old,
Aye they a’ wear the wark o’ the weavers.

Noo weavin’ is a trade that never can fail,
As lang as we need aye cloot tae keep a body hale,
Sae let us a’ get merry ower a bicker o’ gud ale,
And drink tae the health o’ the weavers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 31 Jan 21 - 07:38 PM

The tune of this song is the one that Billy Connolly used for his “Welly Song”. Many of those who sing the latter are not aware of its predecessor!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: weerover
Date: 01 Feb 21 - 04:46 AM

It should be noted that this song topped the charts in East Germany (60s/70s?), recorded by The Laggan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,m
Date: 01 Feb 21 - 07:46 AM

Please correct the spelling of Ray Fisher's name: "Recorded by MacColl, Ray Fischer, the Corries and many others"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: RunrigFan
Date: 01 Feb 21 - 08:11 AM

https://www.discogs.com/artist/931457-Ray-Fisher

Really


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: RunrigFan
Date: 01 Feb 21 - 08:13 AM

https://www.google.com/search?safe=strict&client=firefox-b-d&sxsrf=ALeKk01n7HUSxBMocv7cqlwvnOy8vdHEyA:1612185122688&q=Ray+Fisher+singer&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjm1LLM4cjuAhUKJ8AKHc7-B00Q7xYoAHoECAgQMA&biw=1600&bih=730

Need I go on?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: Reinhard
Date: 01 Feb 21 - 11:46 AM

I understand that the Digital Tradition pages are kind of historical and difficult to change. So Ray "Fischer" will probably stay with the faulty spelling.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: Felipa
Date: 29 Dec 21 - 03:32 PM

Ian C, in an early post on this thread, gives a line "But we can they wear the work of the weavers" ... The word "can" would be "know" if Anglicised, and "ken" in Scots - both of which alternatives can be seen in other transcriptions on this thread.

I often refer to the first line of The Wark o' the Weavers when explaining that "craic" is not a word of Gaelic origin but came into both Irish and Scottish Gaelic from a particular English-language (and Scots) usage of the work "crack". (Therefore, I continue to spell it "crack" when I am writing in English.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,Nac Mac Feagle
Date: 29 Dec 21 - 03:42 PM

https://youtu.be/oETOwxXmzNo


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Dec 21 - 04:21 PM

Surprised that no one has seen fit to include the lyrics from "The Scottish Folksinger" by Peter Hall and Norman Buchan, 2 fairly impeccable sources :

"The Wark O' The Weavers" - pg 142/143

We’re a’ met the gither here tae sit an' tae crack,
Wi’ oor glesses in oor hands an' oor wark upon oor back.
For there’s nae a trade amang them a’ can either mend or mak'
Gin it wasna for the wark o’ the weavers.

Chorus
If it wasna for the weavers, what wad they do?
They wadna hae claith made oot o’ oor woo’,
They wadna hae a coat, na, neither black nor blue,
Gin it wisna for the wark o’ the weavers.

There’s some folk independent o’ ither tradesmen’s wark,
The women need nae barber, an' dykers need nae clerk,
But there's no ane o’ them but needs a coat an' a sark,
Na, they canna want the wark o’ the weavers.

Chorus

There's smiths an' there's wrights an' there's mason chiels an' a'
There's doctors an' there's meenisters an' them that live by law,
An' oor freens that bide oot ower the sea in Sooth America,
An' they a' need the wark o' the weavers.

Chorus

Oor sodgers an' oor sailors, od, we mak' them a' bauld,
For gin they hadna claes, faith, they couldna fecht for cauld,
The high an' low, the rich an' puir, a’body young an' auld,
They a’ need the wark o’ the weavers.

Chorus

So the weavin’ is a trade that never can fail,
Sae lang's we need ae cloot tae haud anither hale,
Sae let us a’ be merry ower a bicker o’ guid ale,
An' drink tae the health o’ the weavers.

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 29 Dec 21 - 05:55 PM

By the way, Billy Connolly sang the Welly Boot Song but did not write it as I recall. It was made for a stage show he performed in.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Dec 21 - 02:35 AM

Billy Connolly – Cop Yer Whack For This LP 1974
B8 The Welly Boot Song (George McEwan)

George McEwan is a poet who met Billy Connolly whilst running Ayr Folk Club. He wrote The Welly Boot Song which was used as a theme tune by Billy for many years.

In 1972, Connolly made his theatrical debut, at the Cottage Theatre in Cumbernauld, with a revue called Connolly's Glasgow Flourish. He played the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with poet Tom Buchan, with whom he had written The Great Northern Welly Boot Show. Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 30 Dec 21 - 02:25 PM

Felipa ,We used to hear that the word craic came from the Irish "creach", meaning plunder or cattle-raiding. Subsequent research has shown that recent use of the word was taken from its use by Irish labourers who had heard it while working in a remote part of Northumbria.Can we be sure that the word crack wasn’t based on a word used by cattle-rustling reivers?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Dec 21 - 03:11 PM

The word crack is derived from the Middle English crak, meaning "loud conversation, bragging talk". A sense of crack found in Northern England and Scotland meaning "conversation" or "news" produces expressions such as "What's the crack?", meaning "how are you?" or "have you any news?", similar to "what's up?", "how's it going?", or "what's the word?" in other regions.

The context involving "news" and "gossip" originated in Northern English and Scots. A book on the speech of Northern England published in 1825 equates crack with "chat, conversation, news". The term is recorded in Scotland with this sense as far back as the 16th century, with both Robert Fergusson and Robert Burns employing it in the 1770s and 1780s.

The craic spelling has attracted criticism when used in English. English-language specialist Diarmaid Ó Muirithe wrote in his Irish Times column "The Words We Use" that "the constant Gaelicisation of the good old English-Scottish dialect word crack as craic sets my teeth on edge". Writing for the Irish Independent, Irish journalist Kevin Myers criticised the craic spelling as "pseudo-Gaelic" and a "bogus neologism". Other linguists have referred to the craic form as "fake Irish". Wikipedia


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 09:03 AM

Henry
Those things are well known -it’s the possibility of a context involving cattle theft across borders that I find interesting . Could the word crack- however it was spelled- have been used by English- speaking reivers who had retained a few gaelic words as slang?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Work of the Weavers
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Dec 21 - 09:41 AM

When I honeymooned in Ireland in 1994, it was spelled Craic everywhere it was written down.


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