Sunday, February 27, 2011

Musical Interlude~Which Side Are You On?

From wikipedia:
 Alan Lomax, writing in the American Folk Song Book (1968), says "Florence Reece, a shy, towheaded Kentucky miner's daughter, composed this song at the age of 12 when her father was out on strike. She sang it me standing in front of the primitive hearth of a log cabin in the backwoods of Kentucky in 1937 and it has since become a national union song

I hear Peter Yarrow sang this yesterday in Madison. 

So, will you be a lousy scab. or will you be a man?

And for Fireblossom, two versions of Union Maid:


  1. Sorry, I missed him. I love Natalie and I love our beautiful citizens who are standing together.

    I guess you can tell which side I'm on.

  2. Um...are those my only two choices?

    I'm a union girl, how's that?

    Interesting that these calls for fiscal reposnsibility are never heard from the right when their president is waging useless and unnecessary foreign wars to satisfy his ego, but they don't hesitate to take it out of the pockets of teachers. It is what it is, which is an effort to destroy all labor unuions, and with them, the left.

  3. Yep, it's completely about breaking the power of the unions, the only big money left that isn't controlled by billionaires, the last firewall that stands against the corporations and their desire to feed every penny in this country directly into the pockets of the upper 2%. After they break the unions, it's on to abolishing the minimum wage, the 40 hour week, paid holidays, health benefits and vacations, i.e., everything workers have achieved in this country because of union activism in the past. Then its just a matter of time before they wipe out medicare, medicaid and social security, which will leave the working class completely dependent on the private sector for every scrap they have, and we get to be just like every other Third World Country, with a wealthy class in total control and a bunch of starving, illiterate peasants under them grateful to have any kind of crap job they can find.

    Or so I see it, anyway. I hope I don't live that long.

  4. Joy,

    I knew this first by Pete Seeger. When it comes to 'left' credentials, you can't get truer than him.

    It was on a 'hits' album put out in the late 60s including a whole bunch of his work.

    Rousing stuff.

    I think many Americans 45 and younger have been doused with Reaganism and worse(?!!), mocking Federal regulation, environmental concern, worker's rights and unionism.

    The world was less petty in 1936 and 1969.


  5. It may be as useless and lost a war as the Alamo or the Plains Natives against the US Cavalry but it is the only fight worth having as far as I am concerned.

    People had better start forming their own damn opinions instead of getting them from talk radio.

    Push Back HW Push Back!

  6. @thingy: Thanks for stopping by and speaking up. I think it's the right side.

    @ Truly Fool
    Yes, Seeger was my intro too. He was always in the front lines of this fight, blacklisted w/the Weavers during McCarthyism, etc. and though he's 91 years old, wrote a song about the BP incident last year. I know if it were physically possible, he would be in Wisconsin.

    There are a host of songs he popularized--but in addition to the above, I'm particularly fond of Union Maid (by Woody Guthrie) so I edited it in.
    (FB, I'm lookin at you.;-) well, except for the wife part.)

    The world was certainly less shallow, ADDH and media-riddled in 1936 & even 1969, and I also blame St. Ron for quite a bit of what you describe. Who would have though a grade C actor could effect our lives so strongly?

    @twm I'm tryin.

  7. Love that song. Have you heard the Billy Bragg version? He has a great voice and worked with Wilco on the Mermaid Avenue discs. This would be a great time for the next Phil Ochs to make his voice heard! If Wisc. goes, the fight will move to the other large public unions, but a precedent will be set that will be hard to reverse. Here's hoping Koch Industries doesn't end up owning Wisconsin. Best of luck in the good fight,


  8. @CF yes, I've listened to him via the youtubes. He's good. I was amazed last year when I saw these links floating by on twitter, that young people were still singing the songs I learned to laboriously pick out on my old Martin in the sixties...the fight never ends, my friend--the Hydra always grows a new head. But you can't stop chopping or you won't even break even.

  9. Joy,

    One afterthought: and Reagan HAD BEEN a 'union man'!!



"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats