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12. Joe Hill, I.W.W. Songs

Songs of the Workers: On the Road, In the Jungles, And in the Shops, 8th ed.
(Cleveland: I.W.W. Publishing Bureau, 1914), 26, 27, 38, 39.

(Tune: Sweet Bye and Bye.”)
(By J. Hill.)

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ’bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.

And the starvation army they play,
And they sing and clap and they pray
Till they get all your coin on the drum,
Then they’ll tell you when you’re on the bum:

Holy Rollers and jumpers come out,
And they holler, they jump, and they shout.
“Give your money to Jesus,” they say,
“He will cure all diseases today.”

If you fight hard for children and wife—
Try to get something good in this life—
You’re a sinner and bad man, they tell,
When you die you will sure go to hell.

Workingmen of all countries, unite,
Side by side we for freedom will fight;
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafters we’ll sing this refrain:

You will eat, bye and bye,
When you’ve learned how to cook and to fry
Chop some wood, ’twill do you good,
And you’ll eat in the sweet bye and bye.

(Tune: “There Is Power in the Blood.”)
(By J. Hill.)

Would you have freedom from wage slavery,
Then join in the grand Industrial band;
Would you from mis’ry and hunger be free,
Then come! Do your share, like a man.

There is pow’r, there is pow’r
In a band of workingmen,
When they stand hand in hand,
That’s a pow’r, that’s a pow’r
That must rule in every land—
One Industrial Union Grand.

Would you have mansions of gold in the sky,
And live in a shack, way in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly,
And starve here with rags on your back?

If you’ve had “nuff” of “the blood of the lamb,”
Then join in the grand, Industrial band;
If, for a change, you would have eggs and ham,
The come, do your share, like a man.

If you like sluggers to beat off your head,
Then don’t organize, all unions despise,
If you want nothing before you are dead,
Shake hands with your boss and look wise.

Come, all ye workers, from every land,
Come, join in the grand Industrial band,
Then we our share of this earth shall demand.
Come on! Do your share. like a man.


Out in the bread-line, the fool and the knave,
Out in the bread-line the sucker and slave,
Coffee and doughnuts now takes all our cash,
We’re on the bum and we’re glad to get hash.

Out in the bread-line, in rain or in sunshine,
We’re up against it today,
Out in the bread-line, watching the job-sign,
We’re on the bum, boys, today.

The employment office now ships east and west,
Jobs are quite scarce—they are none of the best;
Grub it is rocky—a discount we pay,
We are dead broke, and we’ll have to eat hay.

We are the big bums, the hoboes, and “vags,”
O, we look hungry, our clothes are all rags,
While a fat grafter, sky-pilot or fake,
Laughs at our trouble and gives us the shake.

O, yes we’re the suckers, there’s no doubt of that
We live like dogs, and the boss he gets fat,
God help his picture, when once we get wise,
He’ll be the bum and we’ll be the swell guys.

(Tune: “Where the River Shannon Flows.”)

Fellow workers pay attention to what I’m going to mention,
For it is the fixed intention of the Workers of the World.
And I hope you’ll all be ready, true-hearted, brave and
To gather ‘round our standard when the Red Flag is un-


Where the Fraser river flows, each fellow worker knows,
They have bullied and oppressed us, but still our Union
And we’re going to find a way, boys, for shorter hours and
better pay, boys;
And we’re going to win the day, boys; where the river
Fraser flows.

For these gunny-sack contractors have all been dirty
And they’re not our benefactors, each fellow worker knows.
So we’re got to stick together in fine or dirty weather,
And we will show no white feather, where the Fraser river

Now the boss the law is stretching, bulls and pimps he’s
And they are a fine collection, as Jesus only knows.
But why their mothers reared them, and why the devil
spared them,
Are questions we can’t answer, where the Fraser river

The iron jaws of capitalism will never relax until they are broken! The I.W.W. is the sledge hammer that will do the job. Why should any worker be without the necessities of life when ten men can produce enough for a hundred?


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