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The Croppers Lads

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1820-30

Bill Price in The Fine Old Yorkshire Gentleman (1972)
Roy Harris in Champions of Folly (1972)
Louis and Sally Kitheir in Shining Morning (1975) and in Gallant Lads Are We: Songs of the British Industrial Revolution. (1980)
Ian Giles with Folly Bridge in Unabridged (1992)
Brian Peters in The Seeds of Time (1992)
Maddy Prior & the Girls (Rose Kemp and Abbie Lathe) in Bib & Tuck (2002)
Mawkin Causley in The Awkward Recruit (2009)
Bryony Griffith in Nightshade (2014)
Rachael McShane with The Cartographers in 2018

Croppers, although relatively few in numbers, played a central part in the activities of the machine-breaking Luddites in Yorkshire. Prior to the introduction of machinery to do the job they had been top-grade apprenticed craftsmen, trained to produce a smooth even nap on the woollen cloth after it had been woven. They cropped the woven cloth with heavy shears and were highly skilled, and relatively highly paid so had more to lose than most by the introduction of the machinery. Prior to this they had blacked any cloth produced in a gig mill and therefore had already shown their anti-machinery stance and solidarity with the weavers. Thus croppers joined the Notting­ham­shire Luddites in raids on mills to break the machinery which resulted in desperate battles between mill-owners backed by the police and militia, and the Luddites, which resulted in much bloodshed and even death. The main action took place in and around Huddersfield.

Great Enoch was the name given to a big hammer used to smash the machinery, rather ironically as it was named after Enoch and James Taylor of Marsden near Huddersfield who were the ingenious blacksmiths who invented the cropping machine.
mainlynorfolk.info
Come Cropper lads of high renown
Who like to drink strong ale that's brown
And strike each haughty tyrant down
With hatchet, pike and gun!

O the Cropper lads for me, (my lads)
Gallant lads they be!
With lusty stroke
The shear frames broke.
The Cropper lads for me!

What, though the Specials still advance
And troopers lightly round us prance,
Us Cropper lads still lead the dance
With hatchet, pike and gun.

O the Cropper lads for me, (my lads)
Gallant lads they be!
With lusty stroke
The shear frames broke.
The Cropper lads for me!

And when at night, when all is still
And the moon is hid behind yon hill,
We still advance to do our will
With hatchet, pike and gun.

O the Cropper lads for me, (my lads)
Gallant lads they be!
With lusty stroke
The shear frames broke.
The Cropper lads for me!

Great Enoch still shall lead our van--
Stop him who dare, stop him who can.
Step forward, every gallant man,
With hatchet, pike and gun.

O the Cropper lads for me, (my lads)
Gallant lads they be!
With lusty stroke
The shear frames broke.
The Cropper lads for me!

inviata da Dq82 - 22/3/2019 - 18:31



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