Monday, 18 April 2011

What Happens On Mondays?

In the days before washing machines, and certainly when my Granny Ada was a busy mother, Monday was wash day. The everlasting chore of feeding a large family, as well as having to keep them clean, meant that the left overs from the Sunday joint would provide a quick, cold meal while she attended to the mountain of washing at the start of each week.

When I did a little research into my family tree, I discovered that her mother had also been widowed at an early age, and both women had done other people's laundry to help provide for their young families.

You will understand why this song was part of my childhood! Perhaps your know it too? It goes like this:-

Twas on a Monday morning
When I beheld my darling,
She looked so neat and charming
In ev'ry high degree.
She looked so neat and nimble, O,
A-washing of her linen, O,
Dashing away with the smoothing iron, 
Dashing away with the smoothing iron, 
She stole my heart away.

 Each succeeding verse deals with another aspect of laundering, and ends with the Sunday girl 'A-wearing of her linen, O." So when I saw this week's prompt from Monday's Child, my mind was full of' 'washday blues', and I wrote this as a little light relief!  
                                                     
Illustration by Elizabeth Webbe
                                                     
Goosey Lucy was quite choosy,
liked her ribbons smoothe.
So she ironed out the creases
said "No wrinklies, if you pleases,
crinkly clothes won't suit my mood-
I'm a spic-and-span type dude!"

15 comments:

  1. Monday also used to our wash day until recently. Now that we don't have the day off, it tends to be a load here and a load there. Electricity rates are best on the weekend here now.

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  2. That song was new to me but still had a nostalgic feel to it. Your own ditty made me laugh.

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  3. I've been singing that song for a few weeks now - something on the radio set me off.
    What tune should we set your ditty to?

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  4. Didn't know that last rhyme Jinksy but the song we used to sing as children. Dare I say that I still wash on a Monday - have it all dried, ironed and airing on the rack in the kitchen as I write. OK, so I am old-fashioned - I admit it.

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  5. Cute little poem, dear Jinksy. I didn't know the song. If someone says 'song' and 'Monday' in one sentence I immediately think of the 'don't like Mondays song' by the Boomtown Rats, which isn't as bright.

    Monday used to be wash day in the Netherlands too.

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  6. Monday is still wash day at my house. My mum use to wash every Monday and Thursday.....this is one chore I don't mind, rather enjoy....:-)Hugs

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  7. Yep, Monday is still indeed wash day for me too.

    Faintly remember hearing the ditty...

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  8. Are there two Jinksy's? Who knew! I so remember the song(spent my first 22 years in UK)and we did it many times in my music class.
    Love Goosey Lucy too!

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  9. I don't know the song at all, but it seems like fun and possibly could be sung as a round? And love your fun, bubbly response to the prompt!

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  10. Monday mornings meant steam, lighting up the gas boiler, hand wringing. It's all as vivid now as it was then.

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  11. Monday was washday in my youth. I have changed to Thurs./Fri. one or both depending on the pile of dirty clothes in the hamper. It was my job as a youngster to hang the wet clothes outside on clothesline--no dryer until much later in my adolescent life. I had my share of ironing too. I did not sing about it; I grumped.

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  12. I remember wash day very well and the make do meals on a Monday and frazzled mother working from morning till night ......... also remember that song!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  13. What a great bit of linen smoothing history...yes it is perfect for this illustration...this goosey lucy --I love her mood that her clothes are so neat and tidy...thank you...bkm

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  14. Dude? OK, so you are a with-it person now Pen! A good little poem though. Yes, those Monday wash-days were the same for women here. Monday was wash day and with only coppers to boil the clothes clean it was a slow job. Much easier these days huh? - dave

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  15. perfect rhyming..
    fun flow.
    :)

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