(This score available as
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Housewife's Lament (G) C - F C / G - G7 C / C - F C / G - G7 C One day I was walking, I heard a complaining And saw an old woman the picture of gloom She gazed at the mud on her doorstep ('twas raining) And this was her song as she wielded her broom C C7 E E7 / F D7 G G7 / C - F C / G - G7 C Life is a trial and love is a trouble Beauty will fade and riches will flee Pleasures they dwindle and prices they double And nothing is as I would wish it to be. There's too much of worriment goes to a bonnet There's too much of ironing goes to a shirt There's nothing that pays for the time you waste on it There's nothing that last us but trouble and dirt. CHORUS In March it is mud, it is slush in December The midsummer breezes are loaded with dust In fall the leaves litter, in muddy September The wall paper rots and the candlesticks rust CHORUS There are worms on the cherries and slugs on the roses And ants in the sugar and mice in the pies The rubbish of spiders no mortal supposes And ravaging roaches and damaging flies CHORUS It's sweeping at six and it's dusting at seven It's victuals at eight and it's dishes at nine It's potting and panning form ten to eleven We scarce break our fast till we plan how to dine CHORUS With grease and with grime from corner to center Forever at war and forever alert No rest for a day lest the enemy enter I spend my whole life in struggle with dirt CHORUS Last night in my dreams I was stationed forever On a far distant isle in the midst of the sea My one chance of life was a ceaseless endeavor To sweep off the waves as they swept over me Alas! Twas no dream; ahead I behold it I see I am helpless my fate to avert She lay down her broom, her apron she folded She lay down and died and was buried in dirt. CHORUS Traditional extra verse by Marion Wade We're still chasing dirt but we're not just complaining We stand up for our rights and we ask men to share We fight with them sometimes, sometimes we're "explaining" If we'd all stop to listen, someday we might dare To make life worth its toil and love worth its troubles Though beauty and riches may stay or may flee And pleasures they'll triple or certainly double When things will be as we would wish them to be alternate last verse and chorus from Hilda Thomas of Vancouver: "Alas, 'twas no dream - ahead I behold it, But I am not helpless my fate to avert." She laid down her broom, her apron she folded - "If this doesn't stop, someone's gonna get hurt!" "Oh, life is a toil and love is a trouble, Beauty will fade and riches will flee, But I'm damned if I'll live with oppression that's double, I'm damned if I'll wait any more to be free!" recorded by Peggy Seeger on Penelope's Not Waiting and Frankie Armstrong Female Frolic DC, JB
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!