“Four Pence a Day”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1951 (recording, Ewan MacColl)
Keywords: work worker poverty boss hardtimes mining
Found in: Britain(England(North))

Description

"The ore is waiting in the tubs, the snow's upon the fell." The washer lads must be at work early in the day. The singer's poor parents could not send him to school, so he must work for four pence a day. He hopes his boss will develop a conscience

Notes

Although printed in at least five different collections, it appears that the only source for this is John Gowland of Yorkshire. And it appears no other songs were collected from him. Could he possibly be the author? - RBW

Recordings

References

  1. MacColl-Shuttle, p. 6, "Fourpence a Day" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 130, "Four Pence a Day" (1 text)
  3. DT, FOURPENC*
  4. Roud #2586
  5. BI, FSWB130A