Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Workhouse Boy

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Workhouse Boy

Workhouse Boy
 (Broadside ballad)

 The cloth was laid in the workhouse halls
 Greatcoats hung on the whitewashed walls
 The paupers all were blythe and gay
 Keeping their Christmas holiday

 And we all of us say it
 And we say it with sneers
 Jamie's been murdered by the overseer
 [Repeated after each verse]

 When the master he said with a murderous leer
 You'll all get fat on your Christmas cheer
 And each by his looks he seemed to say
 I'll have some more soup on this Christmas day

 At length all of us to bed were sent
 A boy was missing and in search we went
 We sought him high and we sought him low
 We sought him with faces of grief and woe

 We sought him that hour and we sought him that night
 We sought him in fear and we sought him in fright
 When I heard a young pauper who then did cry
 We'll all have to starve till we find that boy

 At length the soup copper repairs did need
 The coppersmith came and there he see'd
 A pile of bones lay a-sizzling there
 And the leg of the breeches the boy did wear

 Source: Recorded by The Halliard (Nic Jones, Tony Rose and Jon Raven) 'Broadsid
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III