“No More Shall I Work in the Factory”


"When I set out for Lowell, some factory for to find, I left my native country And all my friends behind." The worker lives a life driven by the factory bell. She plans to leave the factory and go home. She will soon be married and live a freer life


The oldest version of this song seems to be the "Lowell Factory Girl" text quoted in the description; this broadside is very full. Greenway believes this version originated before 1840; the wages mentioned fit 1830, and the Panic of 1837 killed off many of the small New England farms, meaning that the factory girl would have no home to which to return.

The localized "Lowell Factory Girl" gradually spread and generalized, producing the more universal text "No More Shall I Work in the Factory." As the latter consists almost entirely of verses found in the former, however, they can surely be considered one song.

This should not be confused with the J. A. Phillips song "The Factory Girl" (c. 1895), which begins, "She wasn't the least bit pretty, And only the least bit gay." - RBW

Cross references


  1. Greenway-AFP, pp. 122-124, "The Lowell Factory Girl" (1 text); pp. 125-126, "No More Shall I Work in the Factory" (1 text)
  2. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 331-332, "The Factory Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Silber-FSWB, p. 128, "The Factory Girl" (1 text)
  5. BI, Grnw122


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1915 (JAF Vol. 28)
Found in: US(SE)