Peggy Seeger: Gonna Be an Engineer

3 november 2006 19:19 | Musik, Politik | Kommentering avstängd

Aldrig, aldrig tycks det bli dags för rättvisa åt kvinnorna i arbetslivet. Nu senast sätter industrifacken inom LO klackarna i backen mot en särskild kvinnosatsning.

Om kvinnokamp har det skrivits många bra sånger. En av de allra bästa – med både jävlar anamma och humor – har skrivits av Peggy Seeger, född 1935. Peggy är halvsyster till den legendriske amerikanske sångaren Pete Seeger och delar dennes radikalism; hon är en underbar sångerska, helt utan att behöva hämta något från Petes aura.

Hon blev sångerska i unga år och började sjunga i USA. På turné i England träffade hon 1956 den skotske sångaren Ewan MacColl, också han en betydande sångare. MacColl blev blixtkär i henne, och de gifte sig 1958; hon blev därmed kvar i Storbritannien. Peggy Seeger fortsatte att göra soloskivor men också skivor ihop med Ewan MacColl, så småningom även tillsammans med deras gemensamma barn. De här skivorna gavs parallellt ut i USA, bland annat på legendariska Folkways. Folkways spred i USA bland annat ”Gonna Be an Engineer”, som är Peggy Seegers kanske starkaste sång.

Äktenskapet varade i 30 år, tills MacColl dog 1989. 1994 flyttade Peggy Seeger tillbaka till USA, där hon fortfarande turnerar och spelar in skivor.

Gonna Be an Engineer

Amerikansk/engelsk text och musik: Peggy Seeger, 1970

When I was a little girl I wished I was a boy,
I tagged along behind the gang and wore my corduroy.
Everybody said I only did it to anoy,
But I was gonna be an engineer.
Mamma told me, “Won´t you be a lady?
It´s your duty for to make me the mother of a pearl.
Wait until you´re older dear, then maybe
You´ll be glad that you´re a girl.”
Dainty as a Dresden Statue,
Gentle as a Jersey cow,
Smooth as silk, give creamy milk,
Learn to coo, learn to moo,
That´s how you come 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 have the nerve to say, “What would you like to be?”
I says “I´m gonna be an engineer!”
“No, you only have 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 every day and night so I could qualify.
Every time the boss comes in he pinched me on the thigh –
Says, “I´ve never had an engineer.
Oh, you owe it to the job to be a lady.
It´s the duty of the staff to give the boss a whirl.
The wages that you get are crummy, maybe –
It´s all you get cause you´re a girl.”
“She´s smart, for a woman –
I wonder how she got that way…”
You get no voice, you get no choice,
Just stay mumm, 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 love and recreation,
Spent my days at work so he could get his education –
Now he´s an engineer!
He says, “I know you´ll always be a lady;
It´s the duty of me darling to love me all my life.
Could an engineer look after and obey me?
Remember dear, that you´re my wife.”

Well, soon as Jimmy got a job then I was back again,
Happy at my turret-lathe a year or so and then
The morning that the twins were born me Jimmy says to them:
“Kids, your mother was an engineer.”
“Now you owe it to the kids to be a lady,
dainty as a dishrag, faithful as a chow.
Stay at home, you´ve got to mind the baby,
Remember you´re a mother now.”

Well every time I turn around there´s something else to do,
Cook a meal or wash a floor or scrub a sock or two.
I listen to the morning show – It makes me wanna spew –
I was gonna be an engineer!
How I only wish that I could be a lady,
I could do the lovely things that a lady´s spose to da,
I wouldn´t even mind if 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
Get a cook and a nurse – for better or worse,
You don´t need a purse when a lady is sold.

But now the times are harder and me Jimmy´s got the sack.
I went down to Vickor´s, they were glad to have me back –
I´m a third class citizen – me wages tell me that –
But I´m a First Class Engineer!
The boss ha says he´ll pay me as a lady,
“You only got the job cause I can´t afford a man –
With you I keep the profits high as may be,
You´re just a cheaper pair of hands.”

Well I listened to my mother and I joined the typing pool.
I 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´ve been a sucker ever since I was a baby
As a daughter and a wife, a mother and a dear.
Now I´ll fight them as a woman, not a lady,
I´ll fight them as an engineer!

”I´m Gonna Be an Engineer” fanns med på ”Different, Therefore Equal” (Folkways FW 08561, 1979), som fortfarande går att beställa från Smithsonian Folkways. Den har också förts över till Peggy Seeger-CDn ”The Folkways Years, 1955-1992: Song of Love and Politics” (Smithsonian Folkways SFW 40048, 1992), som ni kan tvinga närmsta skivbutik att ta hem – gör det! Den finns vidare med i boxen ”The Best of Broadside 1962-1988: Anthems of the American Underground from the Pages of Broadside Magazine” (Smithsonian Folkways SFF 40130, 2000), som är en veritabel guldgruva, om ni söker bra amerikansk musik – både Phil Ochs och Bob Dylan finns med, för att bara ta ett par exempel.

”Gonna Be an Engineer” finns på ännu fler skivor med Peggy Seeger, till exempel ”Period Pieces: Women´s Songs for Men and Women” (Tradition TCD 1078, 1998).

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