Song (The Miller of the Cart)

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Three periodicals were produced during the period of the 1868 election campaign in Paisley: the Hoo’let, the Hawk and the Eclipse. This poem appeared in the Hoo’let, which backed the Conservative party, and it dramatises the rivalry between the periodicals. It adapts Charles Mackay’s version of ‘The Miller of the Dee’, substituting in the River Cart which runs through Paisley.

Performers: The McNeill Sisters Duo

Air: ‘The Miller of the Dee’

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There lived a Miller, stale and old,
Beside the River Cart,
He squeaked and scribbled morn and night,
And aye was sad at heart;
And this the tone of his complaint
For ever used to be,
I envy every one “well to do,”
But nobody envies me.


You’re right, you’re right, said Hoo’let Rex,
You’re right as right can be;
And could your pen be clean as mine,
You’d gladly change with me.
And tell me, now, what makes you write
With pen of spiteful heart,
While I do laugh, tho’ I am young,
Beside the River Cart.


The Miller groaned, and gnashed his teeth,
“You little skunk,” cried he,
“You’ve spoiled my sale of papers for
Some words one, two, and three!
My sales were seventy-three at least,
And now (I blame but thee),
They’re sore reduced to twenty-five,
To feed my babes and me.”


“Poor friend,” cried Hoo’, (and winked the while)
“Farewell! and happy be,
And still say on, if thou’dst be true,
That no one envies thee.
Thy rusty pen’s not worth a rap,
Thy wit, a school boy’s dart;
Such men as thou, art Paisley’s ‘boast,’
O! Miller of the Cart!”