If Mr. Mother Goose Were a Carpenter

America in the 1960’s was full of change and upheaval. Even the songs of love such as this one written by Tim Hardin and recorded by so many many people reflects some controversial ideas. Minorities and women were marching and protesting — striving for equal rights in the workplace, and demanding equal status in the marketplace. Mother Goose was aware of, but largely unaffected by these societal changes and upheavals — news travels slower to Minnesota than the rest of the country, possibly because of the long winters.

A family outing "up north"

But back to our love song..

Women were reconsidering traditional roles during the 1960’s. More women chose single status and independence over “married with 2.5 children”. Being an accessory to a husband’s career became less of a desired goal and more of a “rear-view mirror” attitude. Even well-to-do women burned their bras in protest of being just a “lady”.

Is that Mother Goose on the right?

Remember “Women’s Lib” — remember the shock and trouble caused by the prefix Ms and then the Ms magazine and Gloria Steinem.

Women are people too.

And yet, this love song touched the heartstrings of so many married folks. Mother Goose can’t necessarily agree with all the sentiments expressed in the lyrics of this song. I’m not so keen on walking behind Mr. Mother Goose carrying his pots and pans, but I’ve been known to wash a few of his dirty pots and pans after he’s had a cooking fest. I don’t know if love is based on colored blouses and shiny shoes, but I have loved enough to have babies — SIX of them in fact. It’s a good old love song, full of controversy but all good nonetheless.

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

If you were a carpenter
And I were a lady
I’d you marry you anyway
I’d have your baby

If a tinker was my trade
Would I still find you?
I’d be carryin’ the pots you made
Followin’ behind you

Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Gimme your tomorrow

If I were a miller
And a mill wheel grindin’
Would you miss your colored blouse
And your soft shoe shinin’?

If you were a miller
At a mill wheel grindin’
I’d not miss my colored blouse
And my soft shoe shinin’.

Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Gimme your tomorrow

If I worked my hands in wood
Would you still love me?
I’d answer you, “Yes I would”
And would you not be above me?

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
I’d you marry you anyway
I’d have your baby

Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Gimme your tomorrow

I especially love the way that Johnny and June sing it. They have always been a blessing, and I know that all the folks in heaven are enjoying their music today. Maybe Johnny is a carpenter — June is still a lady.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dianna
    Jan 30, 2012 @ 22:46:43

    Aw – I loved that song. And I love your last sentence about June and Johnny!

    Reply

  2. ElizOF
    Jan 31, 2012 @ 07:14:08

    A lot has changed since those halcyon days! 🙂

    Reply

  3. yearstricken
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 18:33:02

    I love that song, too. Love questions and love answers.

    Reply

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