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Mary Brooksbank

                                                Oh, dear me, the mill's gaen fast,
                                                The puir wee shifters canna get a rest.
                                                Shiftin' bobbins, coorse and fine,
                                                They fairly mak' ye work for your ten and nine.
                                                Oh, dear me, I wish the day was done,
                                                Rinnin' up and doon the Pass is no' nae fun;
                                                Shiftin', piecin', spinnin' warp weft and twine,
                                                Tae feed and cled my bairnie affen ten and nine.
                                                Oh, dear me, the warld's ill divided,
                                                Them that work the hardest are aye wi' least provided,
                                                But I maun bide contented, dark days or fine,
                                                There's no much pleasure living affen ten and nine.
Footnote : This favourite in the Folk Revival came from the poetry collection 'Sidlaw Breezes' by former Dundee jute mill worker, the late Mary Brooksbank. She sums up very well the working conditions in the jute mills and I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy of her book in a charity shop.' Jute Mill Song ' is an appropriate alternative title for the song.


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