The Hand-Loom Weavers' Lament

John Grimshaw

You gentlemen and tradesmen as you ride about at will,

Look down on these poor people. It's enough to make you crill.

Look down on these poor people, as you ride up and down

I think there is a God above will pull your pride right down.

You tyrants of England! Your race may soon be run.

You may be brought unto account for what you've sorely done.

You pull down our wages, shamefully to tell.

You go into the markets and say you cannot sell.

And when that we do ask you when these bad times may mend,

You quickly give an answer, "When the wars are at an end."

When we look on our poor children, it grieves our hearts full sore.

Their clothing it is torn to rags, and we can get no more.

With little in their bellies, they to their work must go,

Whilst yours do dress as manky as monkeys in a show.

You go to church on Sundays but I think it's nowt but pride.

There can be no religion where humanity's thrown aside.

If there be a God in heaven, as there is in the exchange,

Our poor souls must not come near there. Like lost sheep they must range.

With the choicest of strong dainties, your table's overspread

With good ale and strong brandy, you make your faces red.

You invite a set of visitors--It is your chief delight--

To put your heads together for to make our faces white.

You say that Bonaparty has been the cause of all,

And that we should all have cause to pray for his downfall.

Well, Bonaparte is dead and gone, and it is plainly shown

That we have bigger tyrants in Boneys of our own.

So now, my lads, for to conclude, and for to make an end,

Let's hope that we can form a plan that these bad times may mend.

So give us our old prices, as we have had before,

And we can live in happiness and rub out the old score.