“In the Days when I Was Hard Up”


The singer recalls how difficult life was when he faced poverty. He was scorned by family, and forced to all sorts of tricks to keep alive. He barely overcame the temptation to steal. His consolation was that he wore his ragged clothes honestly.

Supplemental text

In the Days when I Was Hard Up
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer, Folk Songs
of the Catskills, #99, pp. 370-371. From the singing of George Edwards.

In the days when I was hard up, not many years ago,
Relations, friends, companions, they made me suffer so;
Relations, friends, companions, they all stuck up their nose,
They made of me a vagabond for want of better clothes.

  Hard up, hard up, I never shall forget,
  In the days when I was hard up, I might be well off yet.

(3 additional stanzas, but numbered 1, 2, 3, 6!)


  1. FSCatskills 99, "In the Days when I Was Hard Up" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST FSC099 (Partial)
  3. Roud #4621
  4. BI, FSC099


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1860
Keywords: poverty hardtimes
Found in: US(MA)