Digital Tradition Mirror

Hard, Hard Times

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Hard, Hard Times

1.  Come all you good people, I'll sing you a song,
    About the poor people, how they get along,
    They start in the spring, finish up in the fall
    And when it's all over, you've got nothing at all.

    And it's hard, hard times!

2.  You start with your jigger first thing in the spring
    Across the gunn'el you'll make the line sing
    Perhaps lose your jigger, get froze with the cold
    And that's how you start to go in the hole.

3.  When so much fish is caught, then it's put out to dry
    The next is the trouble to keep off the flies
    It's buzz all around, more trouble for you,
    [To keep off the maggots, it's more than you'll do]
    And then comes the sun, and it's all split in two.

4.  And then comes the schooner, go get your supplies,
    A good price this summer, just make it good, boys!
    Seven dollars for large, six-fifty for small
    Get out your west indie, you get nothing at all.

5.  And then comes the carpenter to build you a house
    He'll build it so snug you can scarce find a mouse
    With holes in the roof and the rain it will pour
    The chimney will smoke and it's open the door.

6.  Next comes the parson, or so I've been told
    Each Sunday he says that he'll save your poor soul
    He'll give you a blessing, or maybe a curse
    Put his hands in your pockets and take out your purse.

7.  Then comes the doctor, the worst of them all
    Saying, "What's been the matter with you all the fall?"
    He says that he'll cure you of all your disease.
    When your money he's got, you can die if you please.

8.  The best thing to do is to work with a will
    And when it's all over, you're hauled on the hill,
    You're hauled on the hill and way down in the cold
    And when it's all over, you're still in the hole!

- from Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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