A tuneful party

We had a special treat at our Christmas party – music! John MacGibbon (who conveniently happens to be married to our secretary Liz) had unearthed the sheet music of a spinning song composed in World War 1 by a Wairarapa woman, Jane Morison. As in World War 2, spinning like knitting was a patriotic activity, because there was a shortage of yarn but a demand for knitted socks and other comforts for the troops. Our performance, accompanied and encouraged by John, must have been almost the first since 1918.

Some of he committee rehearsed beforehand

Some of he committee rehearsed beforehand

Spinning

We cannot all shoulder a rifle
But there is the spinning wheel
And work must be done
The war must be won
For home and our country’s weal
We cannot all enter the trenches
Nor fight on a battle field
But we can spin yarn
With wool from the farm
The distaff and spindle wield

Chorus:
We are spinning, spinning, spinning
And so busily we spin
While the World’s Great War we’re winning
Till the World’s Great War we win

‘Tis not the desire for conquest
‘Tis not the desire for gold
We’re fighting away
With ships of grey
And warriors true and bold
It is to protect our Empire
And flag of red, white and blue
So we’ll work with a will
The reels to fill
For we have our bit to do

Chorus:
We are spinning, spinning, spinning
And so busily we spin
While the World’s Great War we’re winning
Till the World’s Great War we win

Carols were sung too, and certain other songs as the evening wore on. There was no shortage of food and drink, and an errant cork even embedded itself in the ceiling insulation:

The cork is still there and looks likely to be a permanent feature

The cork is still there and looks likely to be a permanent feature

There were gifts, of course …

gift3
… after Santa made sure everyone had been good!

gift4


The sheet music of the spinning song can be downloaded and more information about its composer Jane Morison found at https://nzspinningwheels.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/spinning-song-from-world-war-one/

spinning-song

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3 thoughts on “A tuneful party

  1. Pingback: Spinning Song from World War One | New Zealand Spinning Wheels and their makers

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