Thirty Cents a Day! (T. Phillips Thompson)

“Thirty Cents a Day!” Sheet Music (pdf).
“Thirty Cents a Day!” Karaoke (midi with lyrics).

Lyrics: T. Phillips Thompson.
Tune: “The Faded Coat of Blue.”


In a dim-lighted chamber, a dying maiden lay;
The tide of her pulses was ebbing fast away;
In the flush of her youth, she was worn with toil and care,
And starvation showed its traces on the features once so fair.

No more the work-bell calls the weary one.
Rest, tired wage-slave, in your grave unknown.
Your feet will no more tread life’s thorny, rugged way.
They have murdered you by inches upon thirty cents a day!

From earliest childhood, she’d toiled to win her bread;
In hunger and rags, oft she wished that she were dead;
She knew naught of life’s joys or the pleasures wealth can bring
Or the glory of the woodland in the merry days of spring.

No more the work-bell calls the weary one.
Rest, tired wage-slave, in your grave unknown.
Your feet will no more tread life’s thorny, rugged way.
They have murdered you by inches upon thirty cents a day!

By the rich, she was tempted to eat the bread of shame,
But her mother dear had taught her to value her good name;
Mid want and starvation, she waved temptation by;
As she would not sell her honor, she in poverty must die.

No more the work-bell calls the weary one.
Rest, tired wage-slave, in your grave unknown.
Your feet will no more tread life’s thorny, rugged way.
They have murdered you by inches upon thirty cents a day!

She cried in her fever, “I pray you let me go,
For my work is yet to finish: I cannot leave it so.
The foreman will curse me and dock my scanty pay.
I am starving amid plenty upon thirty cents a day.”

No more the work-bell calls the weary one.
Rest, tired wage-slave, in your grave unknown.
Your feet will no more tread life’s thorny, rugged way.
They have murdered you by inches upon thirty cents a day!

Too late, Christian ladies! You cannot save her now.
She breathes out her life: see the death-damp on her brow.
Full soon she’ll be sleeping beneath the churchyard clay
While you smile on those who killed her with thirty cents a day.

No more the work-bell calls the weary one.
Rest, tired wage-slave, in your grave unknown.
Your feet will no more tread life’s thorny, rugged way.
They have murdered you by inches upon thirty cents a day!


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