“You Might Easy Know a Doffer”


"You might easy know a doffer" by her yellow hair and tools. Besides, "she'll always get a man." "You might easy know a weaver" by her greasy hair and tools. Besides, "she'll never get a man"


Leyden: "Machines were used in the spinning room to spin linen yarn onto empty bobbins on a frame. When they were full the doffers had to "doff" or remove the bobbins and replace them with empty ones."(p. 62) "The song reflects the animosity which existed between doffers and weavers and expresses the doffers' point of view. The tools of the doffer were pickers, a scraper, hackle pins and whistle; these were tied around here waist on a piece of string."(p. 59, p. 175 for more details) - BS

In this case, the doffers probably had a point; theirs was the newer, faster, cheaper technology; the old methods of wearing were dying out. And a weaver would thus be more likely to lose her job, making her a less desirable prospect. - RBW


  1. Leyden 13, "You Might Easy Know a Doffer" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Hammond-Belfast, p. 23, "You Might Easy Know a Doffer" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. BI, Leyd013


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1978 (Hammond-Belfast)
Found in: Ireland