Hard Times in the Mill (II)
DESCRIPTION: About bad conditions in the mills (e.g. "Ev'ry morning at half past five, You got to get up dead or alive"). The food is poor, money tight, "the boss is cussin' and the spinners cryin'." Chorus: "Hard times in the mill, my love, hard times in the mill."
AUTHOR: Possibly Dorsey Dixon
KEYWORDS: work hardtimes factory technology boss miller
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Arnett, p. 145, "Hard Times in the Mill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenway-AFP, p. 142, "Hard Times in the Mill" (1 text)
Darling-NAS, pp. 369-370, "Hard Times in the Mill" (1 text)
Seena Helms, "Hard Times" (on HandMeDown2)
cf. "Hard Times in the Mill (I)"
NOTES [152 words]: This is obviously very similar to "Hard Times in the Mill (I)" -- but since the versions I've seen have different metrical patterns, and have no words in common except "hard times in," I tentatively classify them separately.
This version is recognized by shorter lines in the verse (see sample above) and the repeating chorus. - RBW
I'm not sure I'd split these two songs. The verses tend to be floaters (e.g., the "Barlow knife" one, which shows up in fiddle tunes), and the metrical differences aren't that big. I guess I'd want to see all the verses. There's a 1962 recording by Hedy West with the Barlow knife verse in it. - PJS
It's the usual problem of the ordinary versus the extreme versions. Sigh.
To add to the fun, there are at least three different mill working songs called "Cotton Mill Blues" (a variant title for this family), first recorded by Wilmer Watts, Daddy John Love, and Tommy Scott. - RBW
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 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.