excerpt from 'Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition' pp. 15-18 (351 words)

excerpt from 'Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition' pp. 15-18 (351 words)

part of

Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

15-18

type

text excerpt

encoded value

[Thom reflects on the solace of song for poverty-stricken handLoom weavers, and on writing song lyrics]

Song was the dew drops that gathered during the long dark night of despondency, and were sure to glitter in the very first blink of sun […] We had nothing to give but a kind look and a song […] Thinking that the better features of humanity could not be utterly defaced where song and melody were permitted to exist, and that where they were not all crushed, Hope and Mercy might yet bless the spot, some waxed bold, and for a time took leave of those who were called to “sing ayont [about] the moon”, groping amidst the material around and stringing it up, ventured on a home-made lilt.—Short was the search to find a newly kindled love, or some old heart abreaking. Such was aye amongst us and not always unnoticed, nor, as ye shall see, unsung.

It was not enough that we merely chaunted, and listened; but some more ambitious, or idle if you will, they in time would try a self-conceived song. Just as if some funny little boy, bolder than the rest, would creep into the room where lay Neil Gow’s fiddle, and touch a note or two he could not name. How proud he is! how blest! for he had made a sound, and more, his playmates heard it, faith! Here I will introduce one of these early touches [the lyrics to Thom’s air ‘Lass, gin you lo’e me, tell me noe’].

[…]

This ditty was sung in the weaving shops, and when in the warbling of one who could lend a good voice to the occasion, and could coax the words and air into a sort of social understanding, then was it a song.

I cannot remember the precise date of this melancholy creation. Sure enough some time around 1826, when banks were falling like meteors, but rather oftener; the world seemed hurrying to ruin […] Amidst all this, and more than all this, weavers would sing.

 

 

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excerpt from 'Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-Loom Weaver, 2nd edition' pp. 15-18 (351 words)

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