DESCRIPTION: "The meal is cheap sellin their farms high rentit And sma is their profit when sellin their grain." Bad weather destroys the crops. Cattle cannot be sold. The "cursed gentry ... card not nor spin... The laird and the factor will get an overthrow"
EARLIEST DATE: 1907 (Greig/Duncan3)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes work farming landlord nonballad
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #147, p. 1, "Depression" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan3 435, "Depression" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "The Lass o' Glenshee" (tune, per Greig)
NOTES [201 words]: The line about "cursed gentry ... Walks out at their leisure, lies up at their pleasure" in Greig/Duncan3 is "Like Solomon's lilies they card not nor spin." The reference is to Matthew 6:28-29 [with a close parallel in Luke 12:27 - RBW]: "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." While the reference does not work as intended by Matthew it does work in bringing to mind a picture of landlord as idler wallowing in unearned luxury.
[Indeed, it gets the point almost backward, since Jesus's message in this passage, as given by both Matthew and Luke, was not to worry about how to make a living. But the comparison to Solomon is apt: Of all the Davidide Kings, he was among the most useless, spending vast amounts he didn't have and doing nothing to promote the actual prosperity of his kingdom. - RBW]
Greig: "['Depression'] gives a picture of the agricultural situation as it would have been in the seventies of last century when the word 'Depression' came into vogue."
Greig/Duncan3: "'September 1907. Heard about 1850.'" - BS
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