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Phil Ochs

"Links on the Chain" (karaoke)

"Links on the Chain" (sheet music)


Come you ranks of labor, come you union core,

And see if you remember the struggles of before,

When you were standing helpless on the outside of the door,

And you started building links on the chain, on the chain,

And you started building links on the chain.

 

When the police on their horses were waitin' on demand,

Riding through the strike with the pistols in their hands,

Swingin' at the skulls of many a unionist,

As you built one more link on the chain, on the chain,

As you built one more link on the chain.

 

And then in 1954, decisions finally made,

Black people were a-risin' fast and racin' from the shade,

And your union took no stand, and your union was betrayed,

As you lost yourself a link on the chain, on the chain,

As you lost yourself a link on the chain.

 

And then there came the boycotts and then the freedom rides,

And forgetting what you stood for, you tried to block the tide,

Oh, the automation bosses were laughin' on the side,

As they watched you lose your link on the chain, on the chain,

As they watched you lose your link on the chain.

 

And the ones who try to tell you blacks will take your jobs away,

They're the same ones that were scabbin' hard just the other day,

And your union's not a union till they're thrown out of the way,

And they're chokin' on your links of the chain, of the chain,

And they're chokin' on your links of the chain.

 

For now the times are tellin' you, the times are rollin' on,

And you're fighting for the same thing, the jobs that will be gone,

Now, it's only fair to ask you, friends, which side are you on,

As you're building all your links on the chain, on the chain,

As your building all your links on the chain.


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