Factory Girl, The

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  • Teideal (Title): Factory Girl, The.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 853921.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 1659.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Lucy Simpson.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): probably in 1981.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

As I roved out walking one fine summer’s morning
The birds in the bushes did warble and sing
Gay lads and gay lassies in couples were sporting
Going down to the factory their work to begin.

I spied one among them more fairer than any
Her cheeks like the red rose that none can excell
Her skin like the lily that grows in the valley
And she was a hard-working factory girl.

(paper rustling)

I went up beside her more closely to view her
But on me she cast such a look of disdain
Saying, ‘Young man, have manners, and do not come near me;
Although I’m a poor girl, I think it no shame.’

‘It’s not for to scorn you; fair maid, I adore you!
But grant me one favour: say where do you dwell?
And if you’ll go with me, a lady I’ll make you;
And no more need you heed your factory bell.’

(paper rustling)

‘Now, love and temptation ruined many a nation;
So marry a lady, and may you do well.
For I am an orphan without friend or relation
And besides, I’m a hard-working factory girl.’

With these words she turned, and with less she had left me
And all for her sake I’ll go wander away;
In some lonesome valley where no one will know me
I will mourn for the sake of my factory girl.


The occasion of this recording appears to be some sort of gathering in the Simpsons’ home, with sounds of plates and cutlery in the background and a couple of voices in addition to Lucy’s and Joe’s. Joe gives no indication from whom he heard the song, which is a well-known one, frequently recorded during the folk revival period and subsequently. As on other occasions when recording for Lucy Simpson, Joe appears here to be availing himself of some sort of paper record, if the sounds of paper rustling close to the microphone can be so interpreted.