"Factory Girl" lyrics - RHIANNON GIDDENS

"Factory Girl"

As I went a-walkin' on a fine summer's mornin'
The birds on the bushes did whistle and sing
The lads and the lasses in couples were sportin'
Then back to the factory their work to begin

I saw one among them she was fairer than any
Her cheeks like the roses that bloom in the spring
Her skin like the lily that grows in yon valley
She was only a hard workin' factory girl

I stepped up to her more closely to view her
When on me she cast a look of disdain
Saying, "Young man, stand off me and do not come near me
I work for my living and think it no shame"

The next morning I was there ready and waiting
And begged her to talk to me just for a spell
And each morning after she lingered still longer
And then hurried away at the sound of the bell

Then came the morning when silence did greet me
The birds on the bushes were stricken and still
So I stepped on the path where she often did meet me
And I walked to the factory up on the hill

The crowd gathered round, couldn't hide the destruction
I cast my eyes on it in such disbelief
A truth of the world settled into the ashes
The rich men's neglect is the poor man's grief

As I stood there a whisper it did caress me
A faint scent of roses my senses begun
I lifted my face and I saw that above me
A thousand young butterflies darkened the sun