Rigs of the Times, The

DESCRIPTION: Chorus: "Honesty's all out of fashion; These are the rigs of the times...." Detailing all the sharp business practices of the day, e.g. the butcher who charges two shillings a pound "and thinks it no sin" -- while placing his thumb on the scale!
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1905 (Belden)
KEYWORDS: hardtimes poverty lie money landlord
FOUND IN: Britain(England(Lond,South)) US(MA,MW,NW,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Newf) Australia
REFERENCES (22 citations):
Kennedy 237, "The Rigs of the Time" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-ECS, #25, "The Rigs of the Time" (1 text, 1 tune)
Palmer-Painful, #13, "The rigs of the times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden, pp. 433-434, "Song of the Times" (1 text)
BrownIII 332, "Hard Times" (2 texts plus a fragment and mention of 1 more)
BrownSchinhanV 332, "Hard TImes" (2 tunes plus text excerpts)
Hudson 89, pp. 215-216, "Hard Times" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering ,184 ""Hard Times (1 text, 1 tune)
Welsch, pp. 51-53, "Hard Times" (1 text)
Hubbard, #186, "Hard Times" (3 texts)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 332-334, "Hard Times" (1 text)
Fahey-Eureka, pp. 14-16, "The Rigs of the Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 206-208, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune -- a Canadian adaptation created by William James Emberly in 1936 to describe conditions in the Great Depression)
Peacock, pp. 57-59, "Hard Times" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Fowke/MacMillan 17, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 183, "Hard Times" (1 text, the first six verses being "Courting the Widow's Daughter" and the last seven being a reduced version, minus the chorus, of "The Rigs of the Times")
Owens-2ed, pp. 113-114, "Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, pp. 13-14, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle3, pp. 28-29, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle4, pp. 46-47, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle5, pp. 24-25, "Hard, Hard Times" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, RIGSTIME*

Roud #876
RECORDINGS:
Omar Blondahl, "Hard, Hard Times" (on NFOBlondahl01,NFOBlondahl02)
Ken Peacock, "Hard Times" (on NFKPeacock)
Ned Rice, "Hard Times" (on PeacockCDROM)
J. W. "Charger" Salmons & friends: "The Rigs of the Time" (on Lomax41, LomaxCD1741)
Pete Steele, "The Song of Hard Times" (on PSteele01)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Don't Come to Michigan" (lyrics)
cf. "Old David Ward" (lyrics)
cf. "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" (subject)
cf. "The Steam Doctor" (lyrics)
cf. "Fine Times in Camp Number Three" (lyrics)
cf. "Here's First to Those Farmers" (theme)
cf. "The Mare and the Foal" (theme)
NOTES: Most scholars (e.g. Belden, Cox, Kennedy) assume that "The Rigs of the Times" (with chorus "Singing, Honesty's all out of fashion, These are the rigs of the times, times, me boys, These are the rigs of the times") is the same as "Hard Times" (with a short chorus such as "these times, these (hard/queer) times").
Personally, I'm not convinced, as the two seem to fall into very distinct groups. But because the equation is so common, I've followed it in the index. - RBW
Blondahl: "This ... was sent in by Paul Emberly, who informs that the lines were written by his late father." - BS
Last updated in version 4.1
File: K237

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