King Billy Sessions
  Poverty Poverty Knock  

Weaving millUp every morning at five,
I wonder that we keep alive,
Tired and yawning, all on a cold morning,
It’s back to that dreary old drive.

Poverty, poverty knock,
Me loom it keeps saying all day,
Poverty, poverty knock,
Gaffer’s too skinny to pay,
Poverty, poverty knock,
Keeping one eye on the clock,
I know I can guttle when I hear me shuttle
Go poverty, poverty knock.

Oh dear, we’re going to be late,
The gaffer is stood at the gate,
We’re out of pocket, our wages he'll dock it,
We'll have to buy grub on the slate.

Oh how my poor head it sings,
I should have woven three strings,
But threads are breaking and my back is aching,
Oh dear I wish I had wings!

We have to wet ahr own yarn,
By dippin’ it into the tarn,
It’s wet an’ soggy, it makes us feel groggy,
There’s mice in that dirty old barn.

Sometimes the shuttle flies out,
Gives some poor woman a clout;
There she lies bleeding, there’s nobody heeding
Who’s going to carry her out?

Tuner should tackle me loom,
’E’d much rather sit on ’is bum,
’E’s much too busy a courtin’ ahr Lizzie,
An’ I cannot get ’im to come.

Lizzie is so easy led,
The’ say that ’e takes ’er to bed,
She used to be skinny, nah look at ’er pinny,
Ah think it’s ‘baht time the’ were wed.

[Key: F]

[Guttle = food]

All of the many printed versions of this popular song derive from the singing of Tommy Daniel of Batley.

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