Preston Steam-Loom Weavers

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You power-loom weavers far and near, come listen to my song
I will sing to you a verse or two and not detain you long
In Preston town there is a mill, if work you chance to get
I'd have you mind each day or else at night you'll be in debt.

Chorus: Then weavers all in Preston town,
              Unite all in one band
              And let us banish tyranny
              Then we'll have a happy land

In the morning just at six o' clock the engine does begin
You must set off a running for a prize you have to win
Nor should it happen that you be ten minutes there too late
You must give in your number and two pence they'll surely bate(1)

And while the engine's running O I'm sure it is very hard
There's threepence more if you should chance to go out in the yard [Note 318.1]
If anything about your loom should chance to break that day
There's no excuse, they'll tell you plain you will get off for pay.

Four shilling(1)s for a temple box and eight pence for a stud(1)
Sixpence or eightpence for a fork, they'll suck your very blood
Two shillings for a driving wheel(1) and twopence for one day's waste
Threepence for a gold bobbing if it does not run its race

Should sickness overtake and you stay away one day
They'll fine you two shillings or else they'll stop your pay [Note 318.2]
And should you never mend again, its true what I have said
You must go and serve your notice there, after you are dead.

It is his daily study friends and all that he can plan
Which way to rob his brothers and his fellow working man
For should you make a good week's work, this cunning old fox,
Is sure to take a cut or two, and hide them in his box. [Note 318.3]

The engineers¹ of England are doing all they can [Note 318.4]
And standing up in every town to better their fellow man
The Preston weavers do the same and stand firm every one
Then other towns will back you and assist you all they can.

Now to conclude and make an end, let's all unite and quick
And never cease to labour till we drive him to old nick¹
For these have always been his plans, both town and country knows
The devil his right will never have, till he has got him in his claws 

 

Sources (texts, music) & Publishing data

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Source Title Preston Steam-Loom Weavers
Bargery Number 318
Roud V8916 (2 records)
Earliest Date 1852
Evidence for Earliest Date Roy Palmer says the song was printed by Harkness of Preston in early 1852 [Palmer, R, Working Songs, pp189-191]
Latest Date 1852
Source of Text Bodleian Library, Harding B 20(214)
Author Anonymous
Music (Given or Suggested) No tune given
Source of Music n/a
Composer n/a
First Line you power-loom weavers far and near, come listen to my song
Parsed Title Preston Steam-Loom Weavers

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