Sunday, 16 September 2012

Still a young girl

Still a Young Girl is the second scene of We Can Dance, We Can Swing. This music has been written and composed as part of the community music project Warp and Weft that celebrates the 500th anniversary of the weaving trade in Dundee. Scene 1 can be listened to on the blog Friday Night. In the second scene, one of the millgirls steps forward to remind her friends of the unhealthy conditions in the mills and the difficulties many of them face in feeding their families. The scene consists of a duet between a mezzo soprano and violin, with the chorus, cello and flute joining in towards to end. The words and music of the second scene are:

I started, still a young girl
As shifter at Dudhope
Left my education
Got ten and nine to cope.

My mother had five children
Two are among the dead
The Parish gave us dresses
Our neighbours gave us bread.

Megan was a spinner
A big sister, My Lord
Jute gave us fever
A doctor, we could not afford.

I know that I must speak
Make my voice be heard
For the sake of Megan
Fear I will not avert.

We know that we must speak
Make our voice be heard
For the sake of Megan
Fear we will not avert.

Copyright text, words and music Petra Vergunst

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