The Testimony of Patience Kershaw

The Ian Campbell Group
Language: English

It's kind of you to ask me sir
To tell you how I spend my day
Down in a coal black tunnel sir
I hurry corves to earn my pay
The corves they're full of coal kind sir
And I push them with my hands and head
It isn't ladylike but sir
You've got to earn your daily bread

I push them with my hands and head
And so my hair gets worn away
And you see this balding patch I've got
It shames me sir and I just can't say
For a lady's hands are lily-white
But mine they're full of cuts and segs
And since I'm pushing all the time
I've great big muscles on my legs

But I try to be respectable
But sir the shame God save my soul
For I work with naked sweating men
Who curse and swear and hew the coal
And the sight the smell the sound kind sir
Not even God could sense my shame
I say my prayers but what's the use
For tomorrow will be just the same

And all the lads they laugh at me
And sir my mirror tells me why
Pale and dirty can't look nice
And it doesn't matter how I try
Great big muscles on my legs
And a balding patch upon my head
A lady sir oh no not me
I should have been a boy instead

But thank you for your deep concern
For I love your kind and your gentle heart
But this is eighteen forty-two
And you and I are miles apart
And a hundred years or more will pass
Before we're walking side by side
But please accept my grateful thanks
God bless you sir at least you tried

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