“The Doffin' Mistress”


"Oh do you know here or do you not, This new doffin' mistress we hae got, [Something-or-other] is her name, And she helps her doffers at every frame." The weavers tell of her exploits. They contemptuously tell the boss they will work hard for her, not him


The "Doffing Mistress" was responsible for a gang of mill-workers. These women inspired surprising loyalty, and were often honored with processions and celebrations when they retired, married, or went to work for another establishment. - RBW

Also collected and sung by David Hammond, "The Doffin' Mistress" (on David Hammond, "I Am the Wee Falorie Man: Folk Songs of Ireland," Tradition TCD1052 CD (1997) reissue of Tradition LP TLP 1028 (1959)) - BS

Same tune

  • The Sea Apprentice (File: HHH739)

Cross references


  • Anne Briggs, "The Doffing Mistress" (on IronMuse1, IronMuse2, Briggs3)


  1. Kennedy 220, "The Doffin' Mistress" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Leyden 14, "The Doffing Mistress" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Hammond-Belfast, p. 27, "The Doffing Mistress" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #2133
  6. BI, K220


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1904
Keywords: work weaving
Found in: Ireland Britain(Scotland(Aber))