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Thomas Borland was a Scottish member of the Editorial Committee of the first IWW songbook (1909) who died, according to a note in the third songbook (1910), “as a result of Spokane prison treatment after a free-speech fight.”


"[A] rather colorful figure...[and] a young Scottish lad,... 'Scotty' Borland had a lot to do with popularizing many of [the] Wobbly songs. He had a naturally fine voice, and was easily the best Wobbly singer I ever heard. He would open meetings with a Wobbly song, very often a new song that had not been heard before, and also lead the mass in singing. He was a songwriter as well and one of his songs, 'Unite, Unite,' written to some Scottish tune, was in the [s]ongbook for many editions. His career was cut short when he went to Montana, caught the tick fever and died. I have often wondered how he would have belted out Joe Hill's and Ralph Chaplin's songs if he had only lived to sing them. He would have made their songs famous long before they became so. 'Scotty' Borland was truly one of those who helped to bring the Little Red Songbook into existence, made its [f]irst [e]dition a great success, and popularized many of its songs."—Richard Brazier, The Story of the IWW's "Little Red Songbook" (1968)


Unite, Unite

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