My mother put Songs And Ballads Of Dundee into service for a period; tried to make me genteel you know. She gave me a lovely outfit but it didna suit me, it was the worst thing she could have did because I saw right away the contrast between their homes and ours, you know, thons o the gentry and ours.
Your current browser isn't Wavy Gravy - Kenny Burrell - Midnight Blue with SoundCloud. Shifting, piecing and spinning were three jobs of work on the 'flett' - the platform on which the spinning machinery stood. The shifter was the person who removed Songs And Ballads Of Dundee bobbins from the spinning frames and replaced them with empty ones.
These workers were also called 'doffers' [ Some parts of this song are likely to have been taken from an older song.
Charlie Lamb heard from his father that 'ten and nine' [ten shillings and ninepence] was the pay rate for jute workers before the First World War, in the form of a gold half-sovereign and ninepence. Although small in stature, Mary was an active spokesperson for the working class in general and the jute millworkers in particular.
At the age of thirteen Mary began work as a shifter [ To quote Nigel Gatherer [ Intervistata da Hamish Henderson in merito alla canzone Mary disse " Only the ditty, 'Oh dear me, the mill's gaen fest, the puir wee shifters…' The verses are all mine. And that verse, 'to feed and cled my bairnie ' was brought to me by a lassie who was worried. It wis hard lines if she, ye hid an illigitimate child and Fly With Me - Various - Eclectic Dance Volume One had to pay for it aff that meagre wage, you know what I mean, and she used to say, oh I wish The Jute Mill Song - Various - Coorse And Fine day was done.
And eh, tell me her troubles, her trackleswhat she hid tae dae for her bairn and that, nae help that sort o' thing, and that brought that tae mind. And then I used to think on my own aboot how ill divided the world wis. Oh dear me, the mill's gaun fast, The pair wee shifters cannae get their rest. Shiftin' bobbins coorse and fine, They fairly mak ye work for your ten and nine. Oh dear me, I wish the day were done, Rinnin' up and doon the paths is nae.
Shiftin', piecin', spinnin', warp, weft and twineThere's nae much pleasure livin', affen ten and nine. It was a Songs And Ballads Of Dundee sight to see women, after a long ten-hour-day in the mill, running to the stream wash-houses with the family washing.
They worked up to the last few days before having their bairns.
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