Henry's Songbook

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I'm Gonna Be An Engineer

  • (Peggy Seeger)

    When I was a little girl I wished I was a boy
    I tagged along behind the gang and wore my corduroys
    Everybody said I only did it to annoy
    But I was gonna be an engineer

    Momma told me, Can't you be a lady
    Your duty is to make me the mother of a pearl
    Wait until you're older, dear, and maybe
    You'll be glad that you're a girl

    Dainty as a Dresden statue
    Gentle as a Jersey cow
    Smooth as silk, gives creamy milk
    Learn to coo, learn to moo
    That's what you do to be a lady now

    When I went to school I learned to write and how to read
    Some history, geography and home economy
    And typing is a skill that every girl is sure to need
    To while away the extra time until the time to breed
    And then they had the nerve to say, What would you like to be
    I says, I'm gonna be an engineer

    No, you only need to learn to be a lady
    The duty isn't yours, for to try and run the world
    An engineer could never have a baby
    Remember, dear, that you're a girl

    So I become a typist and I study on the sly
    Working out the day and night so I can qualify
    And every time the boss come in he pinched me on the thigh
    Says, I've never had an engineer

    You owe it to the job to be a lady
    It's the duty of the staff for to give the boss a whirl
    The wages that you get are crummy, maybe
    But it's all you get cos' you're a girl

    She's smart (for a woman)
    I wonder how she got that way
    You get no choice, you get no voice
    Just stay mum, pretend you're dumb
    That's how you come to be a lady today

    Then Jimmy come along and we set up a conjugation
    We were busy every night with loving recreation
    I spent my day at work so he could get his education
    And now he's an engineer

    He says, I know you'll always be a lady
    It's the duty of my darling to love me all her life
    How could an engineer look after or obey me
    Remember, dear, that you're my wife

    As soon as Jimmy got a job I began again
    Then, happy at my turret-lathe a year or so, and then
    The morning that the twins were born, Jimmy says to them
    Kids, your mother was an engineer

    You owe it to the kids to be a lady
    Dainty as a dish rag, faithful as a chow
    Stay at home, you've got to mind the baby
    Remember you're a mother now

    Every time I turn around there's something else to do
    It's cook a meal or mend a sock or sweep a floor or two
    I listen in to Jimmy Young, it makes me want to spew
    I was gonna be an engineer

    Now I really wish that I could be a lady
    I could do the lovely things that a lady's s'posed to do
    I wouldn't nearly mind if only they would pay me
    And I could be a person too

    What price - for a woman
    You can buy her for a ring of gold
    To love and obey (without any pay)
    You get a cook and a nurse, for better or worse
    No you don't need a purse when a lady is sold

    But now that times are harder, and my Jimmy's got the sack
    I went down to Vickers, they were glad to have me back
    But I'm a third-class citizen, my wages tell me that
    And I'm a first-class engineer

    The boss he says, We pay you as a lady
    You only got the job cos' I can't afford a man
    With you I keep the profits high as may be
    You're just a cheaper pair of hands

    You've got one fault, you're a woman
    You're not worth the equal pay
    A bitch or a tart, you're nothing but heart
    Shallow and vain, you got no brain
    You even go down the drain like a lady today

    I listened to my mother and I joined a typing pool
    I listened to my lover and I put him through his school
    But if I listen to the boss, I'm just a bloody fool
    And an underpaid engineer

    I've been a sucker ever since I was a baby
    As a daughter, as a wife, as a mother and a dear
    But I'll fight them as a woman, not a lady
    I'll fight them as an engineer

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1973:] A Women's liberation song for men and women. The Jimmy Young Show is a disc-jockey program directed exclusively at housewives. It contains patronizing tone and talk, jolly-up jokes, recipes, happy birthdays and palliatives of all sorts to make the stay-at-home woman content with her lot. (Notes Peggy Seeger, 'At the Present Time')

  • [1979:] Constructed by Peggy Seeger, 1972. (Henderson/Armstrong 162)

Quelle: USA

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aktualisiert am 24.07.2000