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Richard Brazier

"The Eight-Hour Song" (karaoke)

"The Eight-Hour Song" (sheet music)


Working folk, both young and old, why will you wear your lives away,
For the masters making gold, while you live from day to day?
Hungry, ragged and forsaken, millions of you roam the earth.
All you produce from you taken, slaves you are right from your birth.
Arise, then, throw your chains asunder; stand up for an eight-hour day.
Then, you workers who now hunger will have work and get more pay.

Workers, do you hear us calling, Nineteen-Twelve, the First of May?
After that date, work no longer than eight hours a day.
The Industrial Workers ask the workers young and old
To organize against the shirkers and depose these lords of gold.
Take from them what belongs to you: all the product of your toil.
To your class be ever true: reduce the hours you spin and toil.
Unite in the Industrial Union for a shorter working day
So that the unemployed workers may get a chance to draw some pay.

Workers who are now a-tramping, seeking for a chance to work,
In the jungles now are camping, whilst our masters smile and smirk
O'er the sorrows of these workers, out of work, hungry and cold.
They call them hoboes, bums and shirkers. The bread line is their place they're told.
But the call now resounding for a gen'ral eight-hour day
Will give the workers, they are bounding, a chance for work and more pay.

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