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The composers of these songs were not identified.


"'Sing and fight!' said the colorful Industrial Workers of the World, better known as the Wobblies. They told their members: 'Right was the tyrant king who once said, 'Beware of a movement that sings.' Whenever and wherever the oppressed challenge the old order, songs are on their lips.' It is not surprising, then, that songs of protest have a long history.... Here are the songs of the men and women who raised their voices against political and industrial tyranny, against child labor, hunger, poverty, unemployment. Here are the songs of the oppressed, the downtrodden, the disinherited.... The fight for freedom and a better life knows no boundaries and respects no barriers. It has its martyrs and its heroes, its leaders and its rank-and-file, and these are the songs that speak for them. While some of the songs were created by poets of world renown,... [these songs] sprang from the hearts of unlettered farmers and factory hands, of wandering Wobblies and ragged-trousered philosophers. The words are often rough and awkward, but what they lack in polish they make up in sincerity. Verses that sound clumsy and uninspired when read in the drawing-room were often extraordinarily effective when sung in the meeting hall or on the picket line. Musicians may complain that many of the tunes are unimpressive, but most of them fulfill the prime requirement of a people's song: that it shall be easy to sing. A great many of the union song-writers borrowed their tunes from familiar folk songs, popular songs, or gospel hymns which were already known to the men [sic] for whom they were writing.... Many of them may seem old-fashioned to the modern reader, but they may mark the milestones on the workers' long road toward freedom and justice. This singing history is a testament to man's [sic] enduring will to make this world a better place to live in."

—Edith Fowke and Joe Glazer, Songs of Work and Freedom


The Abolitionist Hymn
AIM National Anthem
The Anthem of the ILGWU
The Ballad of John Henry
The Banner of Labor
Beans, Bacon, and Gravy
Big Joe
The Blackleg Miner
The Blanket Stiff
The Blantyre Explosion
Blow Ye Winds in the Morning
The Boll Weevil
The Bonehead Working Fool
Breddren, Don' Git Weary
Brother John
Brothers, to Light and to Freedom
The Buffalo Skinners
A Call to Action
Capitalism's Endless Chain
The Chain Gang
Cooperation Is Our Aim
The Cruel War
The Dawn of Freedom
The Death of Mother Jones
The Dehorn Song
The Dodger
Down on Penny's Farm
Drinking and Thinking
Emancipation Day Song
Everybody Loves Saturday Night
The Farmer and Worker's Song
The Farmer Is the Man
Father Gander's Melodies
Father Was Killed by the Pinkerton Men
Fifty-Thousand Lumberjacks
Four Pence a Day
From Slavery to Freedom
Give Me That New Union Contract
Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad
Goin' to Study War No More
Great Day
Hard Times in the Mill
Harvest Land
The Harvesters
Hey, Ho, Nobody Home
Hinky Dinky Parlez-Vous
Hold the Fort
Hold the Line
In the Cold Old Wintertime
It Is Up to You
James Revel's the Poor, Unhappy Transported Felon
Jefferson and Liberty
Labor's Endless Chain
Leave Her, Johnny!
Life Is a Toil
Low Bridge, Everybody Down
The Lowell Factory Girl
Manhattan Street Cries
Masters, Beware!
The Message from o'er the Sea
A Miner's Life
My Sweetheart's the Mule in the Mine
My Wandering Boy
National Anathema
Nine to Five
Oh, Freedom
Oh, Tortured and Broken
The Old Chisholm Trail
The Old Farm Home
Old Ma Bell
On the Line
On the Picket Line
Out in the Bread-Line
Overalls and Snuff
A Parody on J.D.
Pat Works on the Railway
Peg an' Awl
Planting Rice
The Pullman Strike
The Rich Man and the Poor Man
The Rights of Man
Rock-A-Bye-Baby
The Roll Call
The Scabs Crawl In
A Sea Song
The Socialists Are Coming (Creech and Hull)
A Song for 1910
Song of the Scissorbill
Standard of Freedom
Step, Step
The Stevedore and the Boss
Storm the Fort, Ye Knights
Swingin' on a Scab
Take This Hammer
The Teacher's Lament
Thoughts Are Free
Times Is Mighty Hard
The Trappan'd Maid
Wage Workers, Come Join the Union
Walking on the Grass
We Ain't Down Yet
We Are Building a Strong Union
We Are Marching On to Victory
We Are the Only Union
We Come
We Have Fed You All for a Thousand Years
We Shall Not Be Moved
We Shall Not Give Up the Fight
Welfare Song
We're Ready
Wesley Everest
Who'll Buy
The Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues
The Woman's Fight
Workers' Memorial Song
Working Folk, Come Organize
The Workingmen's Army
The Young Guards
Zum Gali Gali


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