Songs of The Workers

34th Edition

Issued May 1, 1973
Second Printing March 1, 1974
Third Printing November 1, 1976
Fourth Printing July 1, 1980

published by the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS OF THE WORLD 3435 N. Sheffield, Suite 202 Chicago, Illinois 60657 USA

This is the 34th Edition of this series of songbooks, started in 1909 and preceded by a card of four songs in 1908. Unless otherwise indicated, numbers by titles give the year or the edition in which the song first appeared in the IWW songbook, regardless of when it was written, as: "13th edition, 1917." * We are aware that many of the songs speak of working men and fail to include women. This reflects the language of the period in which they were written, not any exclusionary policy of the IWW In fact, the IWW has never discriminated against women, either in organizing them or in placing major responsibility on them.

Solidarity Forever (Tune: John Brown's Body) (by Ralph Chaplin, January 1915) (9th edition, 1916) When the Union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run, There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun. Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one? But the Union makes us strong. Solidarity forever! Solidarity forever! Solidarity forever! For the Union makes us strong. Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might? Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight? For the Union makes us strong. [chorus] It is we who plowed the prairies; built the cities where they trade; Dug the mines and built the workshops; endless miles of railroad laid. Now we stand outcast and starving, 'midst the wonders we have made; But the Union makes us strong. [chorus] All the world that's owned by idle drones is ours and ours alone. We have laid the wide foundations; built it skyward stone by stone. It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own, While the Union makes us strong. [chorus] They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn, But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn. We can break their haughty power; gain our freedom when we learn That the Union makes us strong. [chorus] In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold; Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold. We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old. For the Union makes us strong. [chorus]

Hallelujah, I'm A Bum! (Tune: Revive Us Again) [Hobo parody of the last century, adapted by Spokane IWW winter of 1908. for use on song card of that year, preceding songbooks/ O, why don't you work Like other men do? How in hell can I work When there's no work to do? [Chorus! Hallelujah, I'm a bum! Hallelujah, burn again! Hallelujah, give us a handout To receive us again. O, why don't you save All the money you earn? If I did not eat I'd have money to burn. [chorus] 0, I like my boss He's a good friend of mine; That's why I am starving out in the breadline. [chorus] I can't buy a joh For I ain't got the dough, So I ride in a box-car For I'm a hobo. [chorus] Whenever I get All the money I earn The boss will be broke And to work he must turn. [chorus]

Christians at War
(tune: Onward, Christian Soldiers!) (bt' Jo/fir PS Mc'drick) (9th edition, 19/3)

Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty's way is plain:
Slay your Christian neighbors, or by them be slain.
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
Use force your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers. Christ okays the bill.
Steal the Usurer's savings. take the grain and meat;
For though the children starve, the Saviour's bums must eat.
Burn the peasants' cottages, orphans leave bereft:
In Jehovah's holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

Onward. Christian soldiers! Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness all the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies. jab the mothers too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary to hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat. poison every well;
God decrees your enemies must all go plumb to hell.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Blighting all you meet;
Trample human freedom under pious feet.
Praise the Lord whose dollar sign dupes his favored race!
Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
Trust its mock 5alvation, serve as tyrants' tools:
history will say of you: ''That pack of G.. d... fools."

Commonwealth of Toil
(Tune: Nellie Gray Also sounds good to That Aggravating
Beauty Lula Walls)
(h~' Ralph Chapin) (14th edition, April 19)8)

In the gloom of mighty cities
'Mid the roar of whirling wheels
We are toiling on like chattel slaves of old, And our masters hope to keep us
Ever thus beneath their heels
And to coin our very life blood into gold. [Chorus]
But we have a glowing dream Of how fair the world will seem
When each man can live his life secure and free; When the earth is owned by Labor
And there's love and peace for all in the Commonwealth of Toil that is to he.

They would keep us cowed and beaten Cringing meekly at their feet
They would stand between each worker and his bread. Shall we yield our lives up to them
For the bitter crust we eat?
Shall we only hope for heaven when we're dead? [chorus] They have laid our lives out for us
To the utter end of time.
Shall we stagger on beneath their heavy load? Shall we let them live forever
In their gilded halls of crime
With our children doomed to toil beneath their goad? When our cause is all triumphant
And we claim our Mother Earth, And the nightmare of the present fades away,
We shall live with love and laughter, We who now are little worth,
And we'll not regret the price we have to pay.

The Red Feast
(by Ralph Chaplin, 1914) (21st edition, 1925)

Go fight, you fools! Tear up the earth with strife And spill each other's guts upon the field;
Serve unto death the men you served in life So that their wide dominions may not yield.

Stand by the flag the lie that still allures; Lay down your lives for land you do not own,
And give unto a war that is not yours Your gory tithe of mangled flesh and bone.

But whether in the fray to fall or kill You must not pause to question why nor where.
You see the tiny crosses on that hill? It took all those to make one millionaire.

It was for him the seas of blood were shed, That fields were razed and cities lit the sky;
That he might come to chortle o'er the dead; The condor thing for whom the millions die!

The bugle screams, the cannons cease to roar, Enough! enough! God give us peace again.
The rats, the maggots and the Lords of War Are fat to bursting from their meal of men.

So stagger back, you stupid dupes Back to your stricken towns to toil anew,
For there your dismal tasks are still undone And grim starvation gropes again for you.

What matters now your flag, your race, the skill Of scattered legions - what has been the gain?
Once more beneath the lash you must distill Your lives to glut a glory wrought of pain.
In peace they starve you to your loathsome toil, In war they drive you to the teeth of Death;
And when your life-blood soaks into their soil They give you lies to choke your dying breath.

So they will smite your blind eyes till you see And lash your naked backs until you know
That wasted blood can never set you free from fettered thrall unto the Common Foe.

Then you will find that nation is a name And boundaries are things that don't exist
That labor's bondage, worldwide, is the same And ONE the enemy it must resist.

The Boss
(Tune:(Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow)
(author unknown - perhaps John Neuhaus)
Praise boss when morning work-bells chime.
Praise him for bits of overtime.
Praise him whose wars we love to fight.
Praise him, fat leech and parasite.

Dump The Bosses Off Your Back
(To ire: Take It To The Lord In Prayer)
(/) ' John BrilI) (9th edition, 1916)

Are you poor, forlorn and hungry? Are there lots of things you lack?
Is your life made up of misery? Then dump the bosses off your back.
Are your clothes all patched and tattered? Are you living in a shack?
Would you have your troubles scattered? Then dump the bosses off your back.

Are you almost split asunder? Loaded like a long-eared jack?
why don't you buck like thunder, And dump the bosses off your back?
All the agonies you suffer You can end with one good whack
Straighten up, you orn'ry duffer - And dump the bosses off your back.

Scissorbill's Song
(Tune: (America)
(from uric/a ted earlty Seattle edition)
Ova tannas Siam
Geeva tannas Siam
Ove tannas.
Sucha tannas Siam
Ino kan giffa dam
Osucha nas Siam
Osucha nas!

Stung Right
(Tune: Sunlight, Sunlight)
(by Joe Hill) (1913 edition)
When I was hiking 'round the town to find a job one day,
I saw a sign,"A thousand men are wanted right away,"
To take a trip around the world in Uncle Sammy's fleet.
I signed my name a dozen times upon a great big sheet.

[Chorus] Stung right, stung right, S-T-U-N-G, Stung right, stung right, E. Z. Mark, that's me; When my term is over, and again I'm free, There will be no more trips around the world for me.

The man he said, "The U.S. fleet, that is no place for slaves,
The only thing you have to do is stand and watch the waves."
But in the morning, five o'clock, they woke me from my snooze,
To scrub the deck and polish brass and shine the captain's shoes.

One day a dude in uniform to me commenced to shout.
I simply plugged him in the jaw and knocked him down and out.
They slammed me right in irons then and said, "You are a case".
On bread and water then I lived for twenty-seven days.

One day the captain said, "Today I'll show you something nice;
All hands line up, we'll go ashore and have some exercise."
He made us run for seven miles as fast as we could run,
And with a packing on our back that weighed a half a ton.

Some time ago when Uncle Sam he had a war with Spain,
And many of the boys in blue were in the battle slain,
Not all were killed by bullets, though; no, not by any means:
The biggest part that died were killed by Armour's Pork and Beans.

Banner Of Labor
(Tune: The Star-Spangled Banner
(1909 edition)
O say can you hear, coming near and more near,
The call now resounding "Come all ye that labor"?
The Industrial Band throughout all the land
Bids toilers remember each toiler his neighbor.
Come workers unite 'Tis humanity's fight;
We call, you come forth in your manhood and fight.

[Chorus] And the Banner of Labor will surely soon wave O'er the land that is free from the master and slave.

Long, long has the spoil of labor and toil
Been wrung from the workers by parasite classes,
While Poverty gaunt, desolation and want
Have dwelt in the hovels of earth's toiling masses.
Through bloodshed and tears, our day star appears,
Industrial union the wage slave now cheers. [chorus]

The Tramp
(Tune: Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, The Boys Are Marching)
(by Joe Hill) (1913 edition)
If you all will shut your trap,
I will tell you 'bout a chap,
That was broke and up against it, too, for fair;
He was not the kind that shirk,
He was looking hard for work,
But he heard the same old story everywhere.
[Chorus] Tramp, tramp, tramp, keep on a-tramping.
Nothing doing here for you;
If I catch you "'ound again,
You will wear the ball and chain,
Keep on tramping, that's the best thing you can do.
He walked up and down the street,
Till the shoes fell off his feet.
In a house he spied a lady cooking stew,
And he said, ~How do you do,
May I chop some wood for you?"
What the lady told him made him feel so blue. [chorus]
'Cross the street a sign he read,
~Work for Jesus," so it said,
And he said, 'Here is my chance, I'll surely try,"
And he kneeled upon the floor
Till his knees got rather sore,
But at eating time he heard the preacher cry - [chorus]
Down the street he met a cop,
And the copper made him stop,
And he asked him, "When did you blow into town?
Come with me up to the judge."
But the judge he said, "Oh fudge,
Bums that have no money needn't come around." [ch.]
Finally came the happy day
When his life did pass away,
He was sure he'd go to heaven when he died;
When he reached the pearly gate
Santa Peter, mean old skate
Slammed the gate right in his face and loudly cried: [ch.]

I'm Too Old To Be A Scab
(Tune: Just Before The Battle, Mother)
(by T-Bone Slim [Valentine Huhta]) (21st edition, 1925)
Good-bye, master, I must leave you,
Something tells me I must go,
For you know I can't deceive you,
Going wage is too darn low.
Yes, you say that you will feed me
If I chop that hardwood cord;
Do not to temptation lead me,
I'm not toiling for my board.
If I work for bread and lodging
While the sun is high and warm,
It would cause me sundry dodging
Through the winter's cold and storm.
I must have the all that's in it
In the labor that I sell;
For you cannot tell what minute
It may start to rain.