Weaver's Reverie

(Bob Coltman, BMI)

Ed Trickett: guitar, lead vocal;
Chorus vocals: Cathy Barton, Dave Para, Caroline Paton, Sandy Paton, Harry Tuft

Ed learned this song while visiting Bob Coltman a few years ago at his home in South Chelmsford, MA. While researching the history of nearby Lowell, Bob found a bit of prose written by Harriet Farley which appeared in the Lowell Offering, a mill newsletter printed in 1841. Much of the song comes from that prose, and Bob says that the first verse is almost verbatim. He wrote the song in 1989, "in a matter of minutes."

(Dave Para)

Where the weaver stands to work, she can scarcely see the sky
The songs of the sparrow can't be heard.
The golden sunlight out the dirty window shines;
She turns to her weaving without a word.

Slap go the belts against the pulleys;
Shuttles fly across the loom.
There are hours to go, and they never go so slow
As they go in the weaving room.

I think on nature as the hungry think on food;
Without it, I've solitary grown.
But in this restless place, every loom, every face,
Tell me, how can I ever be alone?

It could be worse; I suppose I might be
A dresser sizing the yarn.
So hot and so wet and the lint in the air
I'm sure that my lungs would come to harm.

Oh, yes, as jobs go, it is a very good job;
Few finer for a woman can be found.
But this cannot be the end for which womankind was made
'Twixt the cradle and the green, grassy mound.

I tire of the noise; there are too few joys.
I am drawn to the window and the sky.
But "Your looms are going without filling," says a voice,
And I run to change my shuttles on the fly.

©1992 Folk-Legacy Records, Inc. Sharon, Connecticut 06069
  Used by permission.