Weave Room Blues

DESCRIPTION: "Working in a weave-room, fighting for my life, Trying to make a living for my kiddies and my wife, Some are needing clothing... some are needing shoes, But I'm getting nothing but the weave room blues." Singer describes horrid conditions in textile mills
AUTHOR: Dorsey Dixon
EARLIEST DATE: 1936 (recording, Dixon Brothers)
KEYWORDS: factory technology weaving work worker poverty hardtimes drink
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Joyner, pp. 103-104, "Weave Room Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, pp. 88-89, "Weave Room Blues" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenway-AFP, pp. 128-129, "Weave Room Blues" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 125, "Weave Room Blues" (1 text)

Roud #15150
Dixon Brothers, "Weave Room Blues" (Bluebird B-6441/Montgomery Ward M-7024, 1936)
Fisher Hendley, "Weave Room Blues" (Vocalion 04780, 1939; rec. 1938)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Weave Room Blues" (on NLCR03)
Pete Seeger, "Weave Room Blues" (on PeteSeeger13); "Working in the Weave Room" (on PeteSeeger23)

NOTES [151 words]: [According to Cohen/Seeger/Wood], many of the mill workers in North Carolina were mountain people who had come out of the hills seeking work in the 1920s. - PJS
To those not from the mills, this song doubtless sounds descriptive and perhaps bitter. But according to Doug deNatale and Glenn Hinson, in their article, "The Southern Textile Song Tradition Reconsidered," published in Archie Green, editor, Songs about Work: Essays in Occupational Culture for Richard A. Reuss, Folklore Institute, Indiana University, 1993, pp. 83-84, it is actually mocking and humorous, something which was more evident when Dixon performed it for his fellow mill workers.
Years later, a social history project tried to test the extent to which mill workers actually knew these mill songs. They found that only two were really part of the tradition: "Cotton Mill Colic" and "Weave Room Blues" (deNatale and Hinson, p. 95). - RBW
Last updated in version 3.8
File: CSW088

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