It Is Great to Be Alive (Harry Hooton)

“It Is Great to Be Alive”

Lyrics: Harry Hooton.
Tune: Unknown.

My poems are revolutions—poems of the living great,
Of the waking Industrial Workers, growing articulate—
Looking upon the marvels they made and gave away—
Demanding their own creation, demanding a Workers’ World;
Ceasing to live for others, reaching for Lever and Rod,
Clutching with god-like hunger for the machines they animate!
These are the things I echo; my poems are paeans of praise
To the Workers, the living great,
Who created the world in silence and are now articulate.
I am not one but many; I am the voice of the crowd
Of workers, thinkers, artists—thinking their deeds aloud;
I am the lips of the living, I have no voice for the dead!

True it is I echo—the mighty shouts of the hordes;
Yes, an imitator—of impetuous crowds to come;
Plagiarist of Whitman—plagiarist of Christ—
For they echoed me in their future, as I do those to come.
Yet greater than Christ or Whitman, than ash from any tomb,
Greater than any history, than poem from any pen
To you my anthems raise
Who despair of your social value, who are despised by men;
You are alive, you are human—by life you are made divine!
You are the revolution—the mightier poem than mine!

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