The Glasgow Clothlappers

Return to Song Recordings homepage

In 1855, the clothlappers went on strike for a reduction of working hours from twelve hours to ten. Factory workers were entitled to a ten hour day, but clothlappers were explicitly excluded from this regulation. This song argues that the clothlappers are entitled to the same rights as factory workers.

Performer: Adam McNaughtan.

The Clothlappers agreed to strike,
To work from six to six, you see;
A nobler or a juster cause
To be required there could not be.

Then let us struggle on, my boys,
And keep our purpose in our e’e;
For by our might of Union strong,
The clothlappers they must be free.

Here are we met, a merry band,
A merry band, I trow, are we;
Three good long weeks we’ve been on strike
And, if required, three more we’ll be.

Some masters they have offered us
And hour, you know, ’tween one and three;
They have done this to wile us in,
But by my sooth they’ll wait a wee.

Wha first shall injure our good cause,
A wretch detested let him be;
Wha last beside the clock shall stand,
He shall the king amang us be.

Then cheer up, boys, my merry boys,
Our patriots free they soon shall be;
And though in prison they may us bind,
In spirit we ever shall be free.