THE SPINNER’S SONG.
Title:The Spinner's Song
Date:January 4th 1862
Keywords:domesticity , spinning, work
Written in a relatively unusual trochaic tetrameter, this song is sung by a spinner to her spindle (most domestic spinners were female). It is both a celebration of the nobility of labour and a lamentation for an unknown sorrow. The references to the creation of both bridal wear and shrouds suggest a symbolism of the life cycle and the register is melancholic and contemplative. It is certainly true that domestic spinning (the origin of the term ‘home-spun’) was increasingly squeezed out by industrial mechanisation so the lot of the traditional spinner in cultural terms was associated with sadness, but as mills began to close during the Cotton Famine even those who found work in the mechanised industry would have sympathised with this poem.