Poor Hard-Working Man, The

DESCRIPTION: "I have to work so very hard To keep my family. There's eleven children and my wife... And my wife she often told me I am the daddy of them all." The grown boys work shining shoes, singing, and dancing, and the girls "dance and play and sing all day"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (Mackenzie)
KEYWORDS: marriage work ordeal humorous wife family
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Mackenzie 144, "The Poor Hard-Working Man" (1 text)
Roud #3284
cf. "Pat Malony's Family" (theme)
NOTES [107 words]: Mackenzie draws the parallel in theme to "Pat Malony's Family"; the analogy is not as close as Mackenzie might have us think. Malony's family came ready made; on the other hand, the family in this song are the singer's wife and his[?] eleven children. - BS
Although seemingly found only in Canada, the contents of this song seem to imply nineteenth century Irish origin, in that the grown boys are still at home; with so little land in Ireland, the children tended to stay at home until the girls married and the oldest boy inherited upon his father's death. This had a tendency to control population, but obviously not in this care.... - RBW
File: Mack144

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