Eight Hours (Isaac G. Blanchard and Jesse H. Jones)

“Eight Hours” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Eight Hours” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: Isaac G. Blanchard.
Tune: Jesse H. Jones.


We mean to make things over, we’re tired of toil for naught
With but bare enough to live upon and ne’er an hour for thought.
We want to feel the sunshine and we want to smell the flow’rs
We are sure that God has willed it and we mean to have eight hours;
We’re summoning our forces from the shipyard, shop, and mill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.

The beasts that graze the hillside, and the birds that wander free,
In the life that God has meted, have a better life than we.
Oh, hands and hearts are weary and homes are heavy with dole;
If our life’s to be filled with drudg’ry, what need of a human soul.
Shout, shout the lusty rally, from the shipyard, shop, and mill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.

The voice of God within us is calling us to stand
Erect as is becoming to the work of His right hand.
Should he, to whom the Maker His glorious image gave,
The meanest of His creatures crouch, a bread and butter slave?
Let the shout ring down the valleys and echo from every hill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.

Ye deem they’re feeble voices that are raised in labor’s cause,
But bethink ye of the torrent, and the wild tornado’s laws.
We say not toil’s uprising in terror’s shape will come,
Yet the world were wise to listen to the monetary hum.
Soon, soon the deep-toned rally shall all the nations thrill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.

From factories and workshops in long and weary lines,
From the sweltering forges, and from out the sunless mines,
Wherever toil is wasting the force to life to live
There the bent and battered armies come to claim what God doth give
And the blazon on the banner doth with hope the nation fill:

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.

Hurrah, hurrah for labor, for it shall arise in might.
It has filled the world with plenty, it shall fill the world with light.
Hurrah, hurrah for labor, it is must’ring all its pow’rs
And shall march along to vict’ry with the banner of Eight Hours.
Shout, shout the echoing rally till all the welkin thrill.

Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will;
Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.


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