Jon simply says of this, “From the spectacularly good Silly Sisters.” Maddy and June of course, who recorded this twice. It’s likely that this Irish song came to their attention via Anne Briggs and Mainly Norfolk has a detailed account of the various recordings, as you’d expect. This is another song very much form the industrial heritage, although linen production in Ireland goes back many centuries, this is clearly from the mechanised, rather than home spun era. I’m quite taken by the line “She hangs her coat on the highest pin,” and the explanation that as a supervisor she didn’t have to spend her working day bent over, so had no trouble reaching it. There is a certain cheekiness to it as well, with the factory boss or foreman obviously not held in high regard. Although it’s also a surprisingly cheerful little song, that probably speaks of comparative, communal prosperity, despite what must have been some fairly grim working conditions, not to mention the child labour.
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