lotty hay

Lotty Hay

This poem illustrates a familiar theme of Skipsey's work - that the working-class women were every bit as worthy as those of the aristocracy (see for instance, the last verse of Dora Dee). The poem is set in Earsdon, where the victims of the Hartley Calamity were brought to be buried. They are commemorated by a memorial in the churchyard.

As I came down from Earsdon Town,

Upon an Easter day,

Whom did I meet but a maiden sweet,

The blue-eyed Lotty Hay.

A crimson blush her cheek did flush,

No sin did that betray;

For the pearl is sure a jewel pure,

And so is Lotty Hay.

In a cotton gown she tript to town,

And never a lady gay

In satin drest could be more blest

Than blue-eyed Lotty Hay.

Some deem her proud; in speech aloud

Some others yet will say

She's cold or fierce, and all to pierce

The heart of Lotty Hay.

But she's not bold, not fierce nor cold,

But warm and kind always

And a soul of light would meet your sight

If you pass'd Lotty Hay.

All evil flees her heart, yet she's

To slander oft a prey,

But words of ill will never kill

The soul of Lotty Hay.

Upon her way she goes and, nay

No lighter moved today,

The thistle-down by breezes blown,

Than walked sweet Lotty Hay.

The original poem consisted of nine 4-line verses, two of which (describing her kindness to insects as proof of her lack of pride and fierceness) I have omitted. I used the original last verse (which seemed to carry the main message of the poem) as a chorus and combined the others (with some alterations and changing of the order) into three 8-line verses. I hope the resulting song offers a coherent narrative.

Back to Song List