Longshoreman’s Strike (Anonymous)

“Longshoreman’s Strike” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Longshoreman’s Strike” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Anonymous.
Tune: “Roving Gambler.”


I am a decent laboring man
That works along the shore
To keep the hungry wolf away
From the poor longshoreman’s door.
I work all day in the broiling sun
On ships that come from the sea
From broad daylight ‘til late at night
For the poor man’s family.

Give us good pay for every day.
That’s all we ask of ye.
Our cause is right. We’re out on strike
For the poor man’s family.

The rich man’s gilded carriages
With horses swift and strong,
If a poor man asks for a bite to eat,
They’ll tell him he is wrong.
Go, take your shovel in your hand
And come and work for me.
But die or live, they’ve nothing to give
To the poor man’s family.

Give us good pay for every day.
That’s all we ask of ye.
Our cause is right. We’re out on strike
For the poor man’s family.

They bring over the Italians
And Blacks as strikebreakers.
But we’ll sign up their greenhorn scabs
And defeat those wiseacres.*
The poor man’s children, they must starve,
But we will not agree
To be put down like a worm in the ground
And starve our families.

Give us good pay for every day.
That’s all we ask of ye.
Our cause is right. We’re out on strike
For the poor man’s family.

Our cause is right. We’re out on strike
For the poor man’s family.

*The original lyrics (“They bring over their ’Talians and Naygurs from the South, / Thinking they can do the work, take beans from out our mouth”) demonstrated a racist lack of solidarity.


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