The Lewiston Factory Girl

Album: In Times of War (2001)
Lyrics: anonymous
Music: Ethan Miller
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The original lyrics to this song, which I have changed slightly, were written by a factory worker in Lewiston, Maine sometime between 1830 and 1850. Like many such pieces, this song was written as a lyrical poem with no tune in mind. Singers usually made the tune up on the spot or adapted a melody from another song. 

Come all ye Lewiston factory girls, I want you to understand
I'm gonna leave this factory and return to my native land

Chorus: Sing dum-dee-wickety, dum-dee-way, I'm gonna go so far away
Dum-dee-wickety, dum-dee-way, I'm gonna leave this town someday

No more will I take my shaker and shawl and hurry to the mill
No more will I work so goddamn hard to earn a dollar bill

No more will I take my towel and soap and go to the sink and wash
No more the overseer will say, "you're makin' a terrible splosh!"

No more will I take my comb and go to the glass to comb my hair
No more the overseer will say, "what are you doin' there?"

No more will I take my bobbins out, no more will I put them in
No more the overseer will say, "you're weavin' your cloth too thin!"

No more will I eat cold pudding, no more will I eat hard bread
No more will I eat these half-baked beans, I swear they're killin' me dead

I'm goin' back to Canada to the north where the rivers meet
I'm gonna invite these factory girls to come to my house and eat

Taken from: 
[No longer available, was a greast site, too bad.]

Film by Rhea Côté Robbins 
Paris, France
combined with Lewiston Factory Girl song
by Ethan Miller

Click on the Tour Eiffel for song and a movie


Traditional lyrics:
Lewiston Factory Girl

When I set out for Lewiston,
Some factory for to find,
I left my native country,
And all my friends behind.

The factory bell begins to ring
And we must all obey;
And to our old employment go,
Or else be turned away.

Come all ye weary factory girls
I'll have you understand,
I'm going to leave the factory
And return to my native land.

No more I'll lay my bobbins up,
No more I'll take them down,
No more I'll clean my duty work
For I'm going out of town.

No more I'll oil my picker rods,
And scour up my loom;
No more I'll say to my overseer,
"May I stay out till noon?"

And since they've cut my wages down,
To nine shillings per week,
If I cannot better wages make,
Some other place I'll seek.

Now soon you'll see me married
To a handsome little man,
'Tis then I'll say to you factory girls,
Come see me when you can.

From Jim Douglas
Collected from Susie Carr Young, Annie Marsden and Mary E. Hindle

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