Coffee An’ (Joe Hill)

“Coffee An’” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Coffee An’” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Joe Hill.
Tune: “Count Your Blessings.”
Alternative Title: “Count Your Workers, Count Them.”


An employment shark last week I went to see;
And he said, “Come in and buy a job from me.”
I paid him eight dollars for the office fee:
The work would be steady, and my fare was free.

Count your pennies; count them one by one;
Then, you plainly see how you are done.
Count your pennies; take them in your hand.
If you’re lucky, you’ve enough for coffee an’.

I shipped out, worked, and slept in a lousy bunk;
And the grub, it stunk just like an old, dead skunk.
Slaved a week and then the boss, he said one day,
“You’re too old! You’re fired! Go now and get your pay!”

Count your pennies; count them one by one;
Then, you plainly see how you are done.
Count your pennies; take them in your hand.
If you’re lucky, you’ve enough for coffee an’.

Then the clerk commenced to count. Oh, holy gee!
“Road and school and poll tax and hospital fee.”
Then, I nearly feinted, and I lost my sense
When the clerk told me I owed him fifty cents!

Count your pennies; count them one by one;
Then, you plainly see how you are done.
Count your pennies; take them in your hand.
If you’re lucky, you’ve enough for coffee an’.

I walked back to town with blisters on my feet.
There, I heard a fellow speaking on the street.
And he said, “It is the workers’ own mistake:
If they stick together, they get all they make!”

Count your pennies; count them one by one;
Then, you plainly see how you are done.
Count your pennies; take them in your hand.
If you’re lucky, you’ve enough for coffee an’.

And he said: “Come and join our union grand.
Who will be a member of this fighting band?”
”Write me out a card,” says I, “By Gee!
The Industrial Workers is the dope for me.”

Count your workers, count them; count them one by one.
Join our union and we’ll show you how it’s done.
Stand together, workers, hand in hand.
Then, you will never have to live on coffee an’.


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