#00038
Hard Hard Times
See also: Hard Hard Times (Dick Nolan)
And also: Hard Hard Times (Wonderful Grand Band)
And also: Hard Times (MacEdward Leach)

Come all you good people and listen to my song,
It's about the poor people how they're gettin' along;
They fish in the spring, finish off in the fall,
And when it's all over they've nothin' at all.
And it's hard, hard times. Yes, it's hard, hard times.

Go out in the mornin' and the wind it do sing,
And it's over the side you will hear the line ring;
And out flows the jigger in the freeze and the cold,
Asking for starch and all gone in the hole.
And it's hard, hard times. Yes, it's hard, hard times.

Poor fishermen we've been out all of the day,
Come in in the evening, boats sail off the bay;
It's Kate in the corner with a wink and a nod,
Saying, "Jimmy and Johnny, have you got any cod?"
And it's hard, hard times.

Now you've got some splittin' hung out for to dry,
'Twill take all your time to brush off the flies;
To keep out the maggots is more than you do,
And the sun will come out and they're splittin' in two.
And it's hard, hard times. Yes, it's hard, hard times.

Then comes the merchant to see your supply,
The fine side of fishing you'll see by and by;
Seven dollars for large, six-fifty for small,
Then you pick out your West Indies and you've nothing at all.
Or the baker has loaves they get smaller each week,
And he's bad as your butcher who cuts off your meat;
And the scales they fly up and your weights they go down,
And he sings out the weight when it's shorter than a pound.
And it's hard, hard times. Yes, it's hard, hard times.

Next comes the carpenter to build you a house,
And he claims it's so snug you can scarce find a mouse;
There's holes in the roof where the rain it do pour,
And it's smoky in the chimney, and you open the door.
And the parson will tell you he will save your poor soul,
If you stick to his book, you can stay off the dole;
He'll give you his blessing and maybe a curse,
Put his hands in his pockets and walk off with your purse.
And it's hard, hard times. Yes, it's hard, hard times.

And next comes the doctor, the worst of them all,
Saying, "What's been the matter with you since the fall?"
He says he can cure you of all your disease,
When your money's all gone you can die if you please.
So the best you can do is to work for the world,
And when it's all over and you're hard on the hill;
You're hard on the hill, put down in the cold,
You're gettin' your grave, but you're still in the hole.
And it's hard, hard times. Yes, it's hard, hard times.

So, come all you good people and listen to my song,
It's about the poor people how they're gettin' along;
They fish in the spring, finish off in the fall,
And when it's all over and they've nothin' at all.
Go out in the mornin' and the wind it do sing,
And it's over the side you can hear the line ring;
Out flows the jigger with the freeze and the cold,
And they're asking for starch and all gone in the hole.
And it's hard, hard times. Yes, it's hard, hard times.
Yes, it's hard, hard times.

####.... William James Emberley, 1936 ....####
From Wikipedia:
William James Emberley - [1876-1937] of Bay de Verde, Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada). William, son of Joseph Emberley and Jane Emberley (Russell) was a fisherman who experienced the hunger and plight of the Newfoundland fisherman during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The collapse of international markets made it difficult to sell fish at any price, and for years many Newfoundlanders lived on the government dole of six cents a day. William adapted an older song to describe the plight of Newfoundland fishermen during the great Depression and called it Hard, Hard Times. Emberley's verses, which passed quickly into tradition, are a local application of a pattern established by an 18th-century English broadside which ridiculed certain trades and later was adapted often to describe hard times. The Emberley version of Hard, Hard Times has been recorded by Dick Nolan, and was published in Edith Fowke's The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs, Harmondsworth, England, 1973).

A variant was collected in 1951 from Edward (Ned) Rice [1916-2002] of Cape Broyle, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as Hard Times in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.57-59, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved, and also recorded on the album Songs And Ballads Of Newfoundland, Folkways FG 3505, LP (1956) trk#A.05.

A variant was sung in 1950 by Michael (Mike) A Kent [1904-1997] also of Cape Broyle, NL, and published as Hard Times in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was arranged and recorded as Hard Hard Times by Dick Nolan (Fisherman's Boy, trk#2, 1972, RCA Records, Toronto, Ontario, produced by Ben Weatherby and recorded at MUN Studios, St John's, Newfoundland).


See more songs by Dick Nolan.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
West Indie - west india; indian; west indee; a grade or 'cull' of dried and salted cod-fish shipped to the West Indies. - Citation from 1955 Newfoundland Fisheries Board Number 23: "Fish which are cracked, but not broken in pieces, may be excessively salted, may show slight slime, sourness, more than slightly skin-heated or sun-burnt, not excessively dun [sic]."



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