It was Christmas Day in the Workhouse.

It was Christmas Day in the workhouse

And the bugs were biting hard.

And the inmates were making merry

On chunks of bread and lard.

The decorations,made by spiders,

Were strewn from wall to wall;

And the words upon the inmates lips

Were: ‘Merry Christmas, one and all!’

They huddled round the fire

Which was hanging in the sky

For things could only get better

Or worse before they’d die.

They told small tales of futures

Where the streets were paved with gold

And the rich men gave out presents

That were wonders to behold.

But, nobody thought that these tales were real

They never believed a one

For the only tale that mattered

Was the one so nearly done.

And that tale they didn’t like to hear

For it was sad and caused them grief

The characters in it had no faith

And the provider was a thief.

So, they stopped the tales

And began to sing

Songs of angry men

Can you hear the songs they sang that day

For they sing them once again.

But, angry men calm down in time

They accept their fate with sighs

And then they sing of other things

The how’s the where’s the why’s.

And voices carry through the ages

Loud, then soft, ‘fore they are gone

And we all live a life in seven stages

If you can get past just one.

And in that workhouse people cried

And laughed a little; some just sat and sighed,

And passed round bread, thin spread with lard

And not a crumb did they discard.

It was Christmas Day in the workhouse

And the bugs were biting hard.

And the inmates were making ‘merry’

On chunks of bread and lard.

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