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The Paupers of Maidstone
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Rough a cappella. Quickly written lyric during FAWM 2016.
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Previous peak charts position #123
Previous peak charts position in subgenre #45
Donna Devine (lyric/melody)
Donna Devine
February 21, 2016
1 version uploaded:
MP3 1.7 MB  •  128 kbps bitrate  •  1:49 minutes
Story behind the song
A couple of years ago I came upon a census list of paupers living in Maidstone (England) in 1834. The descriptions were sparse, but all heartbreaking. Life conditions were appalling. The weekly wages of the Maidstone paupers – those who weren’t too ill to work – averaged around 1 shilling and sixpence per week (the equivalent of a few pennies).
Lyrics
The Paupers of Maidstone V1 Young William Edmeads A lad of sixteen Described as a ‘bastard’ And a cripple as well Had no fixed address He toiled as a labourer How the boy managed Is anyone’s guess Chorus The paupers of Maidstone A motley ensemble Impoverished, ill, and abused The paupers of Maidstone Could barely survive You might even say They were wrongly accused Of the crime of being alive V2 Sweet Susan Harding An old 43 The widow of Edward With no one to help But eight kids to be fed She scrubbed others’ laundry Morning to evening Until her hands bled Chorus The paupers of Maidstone A motley ensemble Impoverished, ill, and abused The paupers of Maidstone Could barely survive You might even say They were wrongly accused Of the crime of being alive Bridge Eighteen-thirty-four isn’t all that long gone And everywhere are still traces Of everything then that was wrong Chorus The paupers of Maidstone A motley ensemble Impoverished, ill, and abused The paupers of Maidstone Could barely survive You might even say They were wrongly accused Of the crime of being alive © 2016 Donna Devine
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