Digital Tradition Mirror

Cotton Mill Colic

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Cotton Mill Colic

When you  go to  work you work like the devil
End of the week you're not on the level:
Payday comes you pay your rent
End of the week you aint got a cent
To buy fat-back meat, pinto beans,
Cook up a mess of turnip greens,
No use to colic when every day at noon,
Kids get to crying in a different tune.

cho: I'm a-gonna starve and everybody will
     You can't make a living in a cotton mill,

Patches on my britches, hole in my hat,
Aint had a shave since my wife got fat,
No use to colic, we're all that way,
Can't get the money to move away,
Twelve dollars a week is all we get,
How in the hell can we live on that ?
I got a wife and fourteen kids,
All we got is two bedsteads.

When you buy clothes on Easy Terms,
Collector treats you like a measly worm.
One dollar down and then Lord knows,
If you can't make a payment they take your clothes.
When you go to bed you can't sleep,
You owe so much at the end of the week.
No use to bellyache we're all that way,
Collectors at our door til they get our pay.

They run a few days and then they stand,
Just to keep down the working man.
We'll never make it, we never will,
As long as we work in a 'Rounding Mill.
The poor getting poorer, the Rich are getting rich,
If we don't starve, I'm a son of a bitch
No use to bellyache,  no use to rave,
We'll never rest til we're in our grave.

final cho:
     If we don't starve,  nobody will,
     Can't make a living in a cotton mill.

From Hard Hitting Songs, Guthrie et al

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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