Should I Ever Be a Soldier (Joe Hill)

“Should I Ever Be a Soldier” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Should I Ever Be a Soldier” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Joe Hill.
Tune: “Colleen Bawn.”


We’re spending billions every year
For guns and ammunition:
“Our Army” and “Our Navy” dear
To keep in good condition.
While millions live in misery
And millions die before us,
Don’t sing “My Country, ’Tis of Thee”
But sing this little chorus:

“Should I ever be a soldier,
’Neath the Red Flag I would fight.
Should the gun I ever shoulder,
It’s to crush the tyrant’s might.
Join the army of the toilers!
Men and women, fall in line!
Wage slaves of the world, arouse!
Do your duty for the cause:
For land and for liberty!”

And many a maiden pure and fair,
Her love and pride must offer
On Mammon’s altar in despair
To fill the master’s coffer.
The gold that pays the mighty fleet
From tender youth he squeezes,
While brawny men must walk the street
And face the wintry breezes.

“Should I ever be a soldier,
’Neath the Red Flag I would fight.
Should the gun I ever shoulder,
It’s to crush the tyrant’s might.
Join the army of the toilers!
Men and women, fall in line!
Wage slaves of the world, arouse!
Do your duty for the cause:
For land and for liberty!”

Why do they mount their Gatling guns
A thousand miles from ocean,
Where hostile fleet could never run?
Ain’t that a funny notion?
If you don’t know the reason why,
Just strike for better wages,
And then, my friends, if you don’t die,
You’ll sing this song for ages:

“Should I ever be a soldier,
’Neath the Red Flag I would fight.
Should the gun I ever shoulder,
It’s to crush the tyrant’s might.
Join the army of the toilers!
Men and women, fall in line!
Wage slaves of the world, arouse!
Do your duty for the cause:
For land and for liberty!”


Leave a Reply: