Here's First to Those Farmers
DESCRIPTION: The singer lists rogues: farmers selling corn, the "thief in a mill", bakers, butchers, landlords who serve bad beer, and shoemakers. We would be happy to see them all hanged.
EARLIEST DATE: 1923 (Williams-Thames)
LONG DESCRIPTION: The singer says farmers selling corn "are as big rogues as ever were born." They would complain of having nothing if yield were improved 50 to 1. Other rogues: the "thief in a mill" whose "delight was in taking of toll"; bakers who mix alum and bean meal in bread; the butcher who'll "cock up his scales"; landlords whose ale is "too sharp, too flat, or too stale"; shoemaker "pinches us up in our toes." "We all have good reason to sing ... to see all those rogues on the gallows to swing"
KEYWORDS: greed commerce farming drink food nonballad miller
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Williams-Thames, p. 104, "Here's First to Those Farmers" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Bk 25)
cf. "The Rigs of the Times" (theme)
NOTES: Roud makes this the same song as "Rigs of the Times" and it has the same idea, without any chorus, of accusing different occupations of fraud and thievery. Kennedy p. 537 cites the Williams-Thames text as "a Berkshire version with other verses." The only verse [half-]shared with Kennedy's main text attacks the butcher.
Grigson quotes the first verse and says the song "was current in Wiltshire, and perhaps in Hampshire as well around . (source: "Cobbett in Wiltshire" in Geoffrey Grigson, Essays from the Air (London, 1951), pp. 134-135). - BS
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