Union Songs

Scissors and Seams

A Song by Graham Seal©Graham Seal 1976, 2008
music traditional, adapted and arranged Graham Seal

We are women and girls from all over the world -
Italy, Lebanon and Greece.
We are sewing the seams of other peoples' dreams,
Just trying to make ends meet.

Scissors and seams and sewing machines,
A box of bobbins and spools.
With the needle and thread and the hot foot-tread
All a machinist's tools.

We work hard all day, we don't get much pay,
Have to come to work again on Monday.
And for the rest of the week we eat and we pee and we sleep
To the sound of the bell and the Bundy.

The boss is hardly there, and he don't seem to care
About all the noise and dust.
We have to work in it all day, but he will only say:
'Why do you have to make a fuss?'


Many thanks to Graham Seal for permission to add this song to the Union Songs website.

Graham writes
'Scissors and Seams' comes from my time working as a cutter and layer in a furniture factory in the early 1970s. It was a hot and dusty place, basically a giant shed, but the predominantly migrant men and women who worked there used humour and forbearance to cope with conditions that would not, hopefully, be tolerated today. The place closed down in the 90s. Good riddance.

The 'Bundy' referred to in the second verse was a form of time clock. All employees had a card that they used to 'bundy in' and 'bundy out' of the job. If you forgot, you didn't get paid. A bit different to flexi-time.

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