It's hard times in the mills, my love,
It's hard times in the mills.
With the single exception of the miners, no organized labor group has produced more songs of social and economic protest than the textile workers. Their songs are plentiful from the earliest period of American labor history, and at the present time are richer in sincerity, quality, genuine folk content, and protest, than those emanating from any other industry. Reasons for this prolificacy are not hard to find.
The principal reason is an historical one, for the American factory system started with the industrialization of yarn-making shortly after the Revolution. British manufacturers at that time had a half-century advantage over American mechanization, a monopoly they sought frantically to preserve by keeping machines, experience, and even skilled workers in England. But this kind of communicative blockade collapses with the emigration of one man