Song for th' Hard Times, (1879.) Nah chaps, pray dooant think it's a sarmon awm praichin,
If aw tell yo some nooations at's entered mi pate;
For ther's nubdy should turn a cold shoulder to taichin,
If th' moral be whoalsum an th' matter be reight.
We're goin throo a time o' bad trade an depression,
An scoors o' poor crayturs we meet ivvery day,
'At show bi ther faces they've had a hard lesson: -
That's a nooation aw had as aw went on mi way.

Aw couldn't but think as throo th' streets aw wor walkin,
An lukt i' shop winders whear fin'ry's displayed,
If they're able to sell it we're fooils to keep tawkin,
An liggin all th' blame on this slackness o' trade.
Tho times may be hard, yet ther's wealth, aye, an plenty,
An if fowk do ther duty aw'll venter to say,
Ther's noa reason a honest man's plate should be empty: -
That's a nooation aw had as aw went on mi way.

When it's freezin an snowin, an cold winds are blowin,
Aw see childer hawf covered wi two or three rags;
As they huddle together to shelter throo th' weather,
An think thersen lucky to find some dry flags;
Wol others i' carriages, gay wi fine paintin,
Lapt up i' warm furs, they goa dashin away;
Do they think o' them poor little childer at's faintin? -
That's a nooation aw had as aw went on mi way.

All honor to them who have proved thersen willin,
To help the unfortunate ones from their stooar;
An if freely bestowed, be it pence, pound, or shillin,
They shall nivver regret what they've given to th' poor.
An if we all do what we can for our naybor,
We shall sooin drive this bitter starvation away;
Till th' time when gooid wages reward honest labor: -
That's a nooation aw had as aw went on mi way.

But theas trubbles an trials may yet prove a blessin,
If when th' sun shines agean we all strive to mak hay;
An be careful to waste nowt o' drinkin an dressin,
But aght ov fair wages put summat away.
When adversity's claad agean hangs o'er the nation,
We can wait for th' return ov prosperity's ray;
An noa mooar find awr land i' this sad situation: -
That's a nooation aw had as aw went on mi way.

An ther's one matter mooar, at aw cannot but mention,
For it points aght a moral at shouldn't be missed;
Can't yo see ha they use ivvery aid an invention,
To grind daan yor wage when yo cannot resist.
If yo strike, they dooant care, for yor foorced to knock under,
Yor net able to live if they stop off yer pay;
Will it bring workin men to ther senses aw wonder? -
That's a nooation aw had as aw went on mi way.

Some are lukkin for help from this chap or tother,
An pinnin ther faith on pet parliament men;
But to feight ther own battles finds them lots o' bother,
An if help's what yo want yo mun luk to yorsen.
If we're blessed wi gooid health, an have brains, booans, an muscle,
An keep a brave heart, we shall yet win the fray;
An be wiser an stronger for havin this tussle: -
That's a nooation held then, an it holds to this day.

Song for th' Hard Times, (1879.) by John Hartley