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
Mamma said, "Why 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 cream and 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 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 ask, what would I 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 to run the world An engineer could never have a baby Remember, dear, that 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.
Well, I started as a typist but I studied on the sly Working out the day and night so I could qualify And every time the boss came in, he pinched me on the thigh Said, "I've never had an engineer!" "You owe it to the job to be a lady The duty of the staff is to give the boss a whirl The wages that you get are crummy, maybe But it's all you get, 'cause you're a girl"
Then Jimmy came along and we set up a conjugation We were busy every night with loving recreation I spent my days at work so he could get an education And now he's an engineer!
He said: "I know you'll always be a lady The duty of my darling is to love me all her life Could an engineer look after or obey me? Remember, dear, that you're my wife!"
As soon a Jimmy got a job, I studied hard again Then busy at me turret-lathe a year or two, and then The morning that the twins were born, Jimmy says to them "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 got to mind the baby Remember you're a mother now!"
Every time I turn around there's something else to do Cook a meal or mend a sock or sweep a floor or two Listening to Jimmy Young - it makes me want to spew I was gonna be an engineer.
I only wish that I could be a lady I'd do the lovely things that a lady's s'posed to do I wouldn't even mind if only they would pay me Then 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 You don't need a purse when a lady is sold.
Oh, but now the times are harder and me Jimmy's got the sack; I went down to Vicker's, they were glad o have me back. But I'm a third-class citizen, my wages tell me that But I'm a first-class engineer!
The boss he says "We pay you as a lady, You only got the job because 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 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've got no brain,
Well, I listened to my mother and I joined a typing pool Listened to my lover and I put him through his school If I listen to the boss, I'm just a bloody fool And an underpaid engineer I been a sucker ever since I was a baby As a daughter, as a mother, as a lover, as a dear But I'll fight them as a woman, not a lady I'll fight them as an engineer!
Words and music by Peggy Seeger in 1970 Copyright Stormking Music, Inc. Recorded by Frankie Armstrong- Out of Love, MacColl & Seeger - At the Present Moment @feminist @work @marriage filename[ ENGINER DC, SF ===DOCUMENT BOUNDARY