Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy May Day (in short)

For unnaked girl who kindly pointed out that it's the anniversary of the Haymarket Riots that were part of the huge radical labour movement that used to exist in this hemisphere that brought Americans the 8 hour day.

The Internationale
Arise ye pris'ners of starvation
Arise ye wretched of the earth
For justice thunders condemnation
A better world's in birth!
No more tradition's chains shall bind us
Arise, ye slaves, no more in thrall;
The earth shall rise on new foundations
We have been naught we shall be all.

'Tis the final conflict
Let each stand in his place
The International Union
shall be the human race.
'Tis the final conflict
Let each stand in his place
The International Union
shall be the human race.

From Joe Hill:
There is Power in a Union (updated slightly by the IWW to include women)

Would you have freedom from wage slavery,
Then join in the grand Industrial band;
Would you from mis'ry and hunger be free,
Then come! Do your share, lend a hand.
There is pow'r, there is pow'r
In a band of working folks.
When they stand hand in hand,
That's a pow'r, that's a pow'r
That must rule in every land --
One Industrial Union Grand.
Would you have mansions of gold in the sky,
And live in a shack, way in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly,
And starve here with rags on your back?

If you've had "nuff" of "the blood of the lamb,"
Then join in the grand Industrial band;
If, for a change, you would have eggs and ham.
Then come! Do your share, lend a hand.

If you like sluggers to beat off your head,
Then don't organize, all unions despise,
If you want nothing before you are dead,
Shake hands with your boss and look wise.

Come, all ye workers, from every land,
Come join in the grand Industrial band.
Then we our share of this earth shall demand.
Come on! Do your share, lend a hand.

and to Joe Hill, executed for a crime he didn't commit b/c of his organising

Joe Hill
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
Alive as you and me
Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
"I never died," says he, "I never died," says he.

"In Salt Lake, Joe, by God," says I
Him standing by my bed,
"They framed you on a murder charge."
Says Joe, "But I ain't dead," says Joe, "But I ain't dead."

"The copper bosses shot you, Joe,
They killed you, Joe," says I.
"Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
Says Joe, "I didn't die," says Joe, "I didn't die."

And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes
Joe says, "What they forgot to kill
Went on to organize, went on to organize."

"Joe Hill ain't dead," he says to me,
"Joe Hill ain't never died.
Where working folks are out on strike
Joe Hill is at their side, Joe Hill is at their side."

"From San Diego up to Maine
In every mine and mill
Where workers strike and organize,"
"There you'll find Joe Hill," "There you'll find Joe Hill."

Hey I'm a Wob, I like to sing. Find out more about us at IWW UK (as the main site seems to be having problems right now...booo) I scroll down my page I start singing "There is power in a union." I love these songs.


unnaked girl said...


Violet Socks said...

That's a great May Day post. Those old songs are wonderful.

lost clown said...

I love them so. It's one of the reasons I love the Wobs so much, besides that whole radical unionism thing. ;)

Mike B) said...

Solidarity forever! Good stuff. Happy May Day to all. I'm on the train this Sunday to attend the May Day events in Fremantle. I joined the IWW on May 5th, 1990.......a good day to join, Marx's birthday.

Wage-slaves of the world, unite! You've only your bosses to lose.