Article Index

Songbook for Revolution

I bought my copy of the second edition of Socialist Song Book at the Labour Party Young Socialists (they were the days) Summer Camp in 1981, for the price of 20p in aid of the Militant Fighting Fund, and the forward from it reads:

"Dear Comrades, this is the 2nd edition of our ‘Socialist Song Book'. We had intended to include a selection of new songs but due to the pressure of political activity this has been impossible. We would like to re-state that those of us who have compiled and produced this book do not necessarily agree politically with all thee songs but feel that each has won a place in labour movement traditions.     Yours comradely Jenny Smith     April 1974"

Whilst cleaning some very dusty bookshelves I found the songbook again, and in a year of war, and the twentieth anniversary of the Miners' Strike it seemed fitting that a third edition was published. I have added a Miners' song: ‘We Won't Forget', written by Paul Mackney in 1985, and several others from the Wolverhampton and District Trades Union Council website. Thank you all. The title has been changed to encourage a sense of coalition. Divided we fall.

Enjoy the Songbook and draw strength from its words. Share it with your comrades.

Bobbie Petford October 2004

 

click here to read about our new Thatcher is Dead CD


 

 

1. The Red Flag (by Jim Connell)
The people's flag is deepest red
It shrouded oft our martyred dead
And their limbs grew stiff and cold
Their heart's blood dyed every fold
[Chorus]
Then raise the scarlet standard high
Beneath its shade we'll live or die
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We'll keep the red flag flying here
It waved above our infant might
When all ahead seemed dark as night
It witnessed many a deed and vow
We must not change its colour now
[Chorus]
It well recalls the triumphs past
It gives the hope of peace at last
The banner bright, the symbol plain
Of human right and human gain[Chorus]
It suits today the weak and base
Whose minds are fixed on self and place
To cringe before the rich man's frown
And haul the sacred emblem down
[Chorus]
With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onwards till we fall
Come dungeon dark or gallows grim
This song shall be our battle hymn
 
2. The Internationale (by E. Pottier)
Arise! Ye starvelings from your slumbers
Arise! Ye criminals of want
For reason in revolt now thunders
And at last ends the age of cant
Now away with all superstitions
Servile masses arise, arise!
We'll change forthwith the old conditions
And spurn the dust to win the prize
 
[Chorus]
Then comrades come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale 
Unites the human race
Then comrades come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale
Unites the human race
 
No saviours from on high deliver
No trust have we in prince or peer
Our own right hand the chains must sever
Chains of hatred, greed and fear‘
Ere the thieves will out with their booty
To give mankind a happier lot
Each at his forge must do his duty
And strike the iron while its hot
[Chorus]
 
We peasants, artisans and others
Enrolled among the sons of toil
Let's claim the earth henceforth for brothers
Drive the indolent from the soil
On our flesh long has fed the raven
We've too long been the vulture's prey
But now farewell the spirit craven
The dawn brings a brighter day
[Chorus]

3. Bandiera Rossa (Italian workers' song)
 The people on the march, the roads are treading
That leads to freedom, that leads to freedom
The hour of struggle's here, our courage needing
Our banner's leading to victory
 
[Chorus]
Raise the scarlet flag triumphantly
Raise the scarlet flag triumphantly
Raise the scarlet flag triumphantly
We fight for socialism and our liberty
 
From mines and factories, from farm and college
With strength of suffering and force of knowledge
Come all who hope for life, their power conceding
Our banner's leading to victory
[Chorus]
Away with enmities and hostile frontiers
To equal manhood the earth is bounteous
The rule of greed and war from earth is fading
Our banner's leading to victory
[Chorus]

4. The 15th Brigade (Spanish Civil War song)
Viva la quince brigada, rumbara rumbara rumbala
Viva la quince brigada, rumbara rumbara rumbala
Que se ha cubiesta de Gloria
Que se ha cubiesta de Gloria
Ay Manuela, ay Manuela
Luchamos contra los Moros, rumbara rumbara rumbala
Luchamos contra los Moros, rumbara rumbara rumbala
Mercenarios y fascistasMercenarios y fascistas
Ay Manuela, ay Manuela
En los frentes de Jamara, rumbara rumbara rumbala
En los frentes de Jamara, rumbara rumbara rumbala
No tenemos ni aviones
Ni tanques ni canonesAy Manuela, ay Manuela
 
5. Himno de Riego (Spanish Republican Anthem)
O joyous and fearless, audacious, invincible
Come sing with us comrades, our mighty battle song
Forever remembered, adored by the masses
You brave sons of the workers and peasants of Spain
[Chorus]
It is for our people, for Spain we must unite
For victory and freedom we'll win or die in the flight
Alive is the glory of those who have struggled
The whole world remembers their part in the strife
Riego, Riego, we sing of your victory
For the cause of the people you laid down your life
[Chorus]
The wind blows and carries the thunders of cannon
The shrill sound of trumpets is heard from afar
And Mars, god of battle, now marshals our soldiers
He leads our proud people, our comrades to war
[Chorus]

6. The Marseillaise
Soldiers of France, the morn is breaking
The day of glory dawns at last
See the tyrant's banner shaking
As it barely streams in the blast
As it barely streams in the blast
The field of battle lies before you
Fierce foemen advance their pride
Confusion spreading far and wide
While for aid our children implore you
[Chorus]
To arms and hence away
To arms this glorious day

March on, march on
Brave sons of France, to fame and victory
Ye tyrants quake, your day is over
Detested now by friend and foe
Who your base designs discover
Ye shall die as traitors do
Ye shall die as traitors do
Each gallant heart with zeal o'er-flowing
Goes eagerly forth at the call
Tho' some may for their country fall
Others will hear the bugles blowing
[Chorus]

7. These Things Shall Be (by J.A. Symonds)
These things shall be, A loftier race
Than e'er the world hath known shall rise
With flame of freedom in their souls
And light of knowledge in their eyes
They shall be gentle, brave and strong
To spill no drop of blood, but dare
All that may plant man's lordship firm
On earth, and fire, and sea, and air
Nation with nation, land with land
Unarmed shall live as comrades free
In ev'ry heart and brain shall throb
The pulse of one fraternity
Man shall love man, with heart as pure
And fervent as the young-eyed throng
Who chant their heavenly psalms before
God's face with undiscordant song
New arts shall bloom of loftier mould
And mightier music thrill the skies
And ev'ry life shall be a song
When all the earth is paradise

 
8. The World Turned Upside Down (by Leon Rosselson)

In 1649 to St George's Hill
A ragged band they called the Diggers came to show the people's will
They defied the landlords, they defied the laws
They were the dispossessed reclaiming what was theirs


We come in peace they said, to dig and sow
We come to work the lands in common and to make the waste grounds grow
This Earth divided we will make whole
So it will be a common treasury for all


The sin of property we do disdain
No man has any right to buy and sell the earth for private gain
By theft and murder they took the land
Now everywhere the walls spring up at their command


They make the laws to chain us well
The clergy dazzle us with heaven or they damn us into hell
We will not worship the god they serve
The god of greed who feeds the rich while poor men starve


We work, we eat together, we need no swords
We will not bow to the masters or pay rent to the lords
We are free men, though we are poor
You Diggers all stand up for glory, stand up now

From the men of property the orders came
They sent the hired men and troopers to wipe out the Diggers' claim
Tear down their cottages, destroy their corn
They were dispersed.
Only the vision lingers on
You poor take courage!
You rich take care!
This Earth was made a common treasury for everyone to share
All things in common, all people one
We come in peace.
The orders came to cut them down
 
9. Poor Paddy Works on the Railway
In eighteen hundred and forty one
Me corduroy breeches I put on
Me corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway, the railway

[Chorus 1]
I'm weary of the railway,
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty two
From Hartlepool I moved to Crewe
And found myself a job to do
A working on the railway

[Chorus 2]
I was wearing corduroy breeches, digging ditches
Dodging hitches, pulling switches
I was working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty three
I broke me shovel across me knee
And went to work for the company
On the Leeds and Selby Railway
[Chorus 1]
In eighteen hundred and forty four
I landed on the Liverpool shore
Me belly was empty, me hands were sore
With working on the railway
[Chorus 2]

In eighteen hundred and forty five
When Daniel O'Connel he was alive
When Daniel O'Connel he was alive
When Daniel O'Connel he was alive
And working on the railway
[Chorus 1]
In eighteen hundred and forty six
I changed me trade from carrying bricks
I changed me trade from carrying bricks
To work upon the railway
[Chorus 2]
In eighteen hundred and forty seven
Poor Paddy was thinking of going to heaven
Poor Paddy was thinking of going to heaven
And working on the railway, the railway
[Chorus 1]

10. Fourpence a Day
The ore is waiting in the tubs, the snows upon the fell
Canny folk are sleeping yet, but lead is reet to sell
Come me little washer lad, come, lets away
We're bound to slav'ry for fourpence a day
Its early in the morning, we rise at five o'clock
And the little slaves come to the door to knock, knock, knock
Come, me little washer lad, come, lets away
Its very hard to work for fourpence a day
Me father was a miner and lived down in the town
Twas hard work and poverty that always kept him down
He aimed for me to go to school but brass he couldn't pay
So I had to go to the washing rake for fourpence a day
Me mother rises out of bed with tears on her cheeks
Puts my wallet on my shoulders which has to serve a week
It often fills her great big heart when she unto me did say

I never thought that thou would have worked for fourpence aday
Fourpence a day, me lad, and very hard to work
And never a pleasant look from a gruffy looking Turk
His conscience it may fail and his heart it may give way
Then he'll raise our wages to ninepence a day
 
11. Oh Dear Me
Oh dear me the mill gin fast
The poor wee shifters cannot get a rest
Shifting bobbins, coarse and fine
They fairly mak ye work for your ten and nine
Oh dear me I wish the day was done
Running up and down the pass is no fun
Shifting piece and spinning, warp weft and twine
To feed and clean me bairnie on ten and nine
Oh dear me the world's ill divided
Them that work the hardest are the least provided
I'm quite contented dark days are fine
But there's not much pleasure in living on ten and nine
 
12. The Four Loom Weaver (This Lancashire ballad was first sung after the Battle of Waterloo, when wages fell to anew low.)
I'm a four loom weaver as many a one knows
I've nowt to eat and I've worn our me clothes
My clogs are both broken and stockings I have none
Tha'd scarce give me tuppence for all I've got on
Owd Billy o't Bent he kept telling me long
We might have better time if I'd no'but howd me tongue
Well I've howden me tongue till I near lost me breath
And I feel in my heart that I'll soon clem to death
I'm a four loom weaver as many a one knows
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out me clothes
Owd Billy's awreet, he ne're were clemmed
And he ne're picked o'er in his life
We held on for six weeks, thought each day were the last
We've tarried and shifted till now we're quite fast
We lived upon nettles while nettles were good
And Waterloo porridge were t' best o' us food
I'm a four loom weaver as many a one knows
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out me clothes
Clogs we ha' none nor no looms to weave on
And I've woven myself to t' far end
Our Margaret declares if hoo'd got clothes to put on
Hoo'd go up to London to see the great man
And if things didna alter when there hoo had been
Hoo swears hoo would fight wi' blood up t' th' een
 

13. The Man That Waters The Workers' Beer
(Dedicated to Watneys, Courage, Youngers and other brewing monopolies who pay for something more poisonous to theworkers - the Tory party)

[Chorus]
I am the man, the very fat man
Who waters the workers' beer
Who waters the workers' beer
And what do I care if it makes them ill
If it makes them terribly queer
I've a car and a yacht and an aeroplane
And I waters the workers' beer
Now when I makes the workers' beer
I puts in strychnine
Some methylated spirits and a drop of paraffin

But since a brew so terribly strong
Might make them terribly queer
So I reaches my hand for the water tap
And I waters the workers' beer
[Chorus]
Now a drop of good beer is good for a man
Who's thirsty and tired and hot
And I sometime has a drop for myself
From a very special lot
But a fat and healthy working class
Is the thing that I most fear
So I reaches my hand for the water tap
And I waters the workers' beer
[Chorus]
Now ladies fair, beyond compare
And be ye maid or wife
Oh sometime lend a thought for one
Who leads a wandering life
The water rates are shockingly high
An' meth' is shockingly dear
And there isn't the profit there used to be
In watering the workers' beer
 

14. Song to the Men of England (by P.B. Shelley)

Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear
Wherefore feed, and clothe, and save
From the cradle to the grave
Those ungrateful drones who would
Drain your sweat -nay, drink your blood
Wherefore, Bees of England, forge
Many a weapon, chain, and scourge
That these stingless drones may spoil
The forced produce of your toil
Have ye leisure, comfort, calm
Shelter, food, love's gentle ball
Or what is it ye buy so dear
With your pain and with your fear
The seed ye sow, another reaps
The wealth ye find, another keeps
The robes ye weave, another wears
The arms ye forge, another bears
Sow seed,-but let no tyrant reap
Find wealth,-let no impostor heap
Weave robes,-let not the idle wear
Forge arms,-in your defence to bear
Shrink to your cellars, holes, and cells
In halls ye deck another dwells
Why shake the chains ye wrought
Ye see the steel ye tempered glance on ye
With plough and spade, and hoe and loom
Trace your grave, and build your tomb
And weave your winding sheet, till fair
England be your sepulchre
 
15. William Brown (by Arthur Hagg )
A nice young man was William Brown
He worked for a wage in a Yorkshire town
He turned a wheel from left to right
From eight at morning till six at night
[Chorus]
Now keep that wheel a-turning
Keep that wheel a-turning
Keep that wheel a-turning
And do a little more each day

The boss one day to William came
Look here, he said, young what's your name
We're far from pleased with what you do
So hurry that wheel or out you go!
[Chorus]
So William turned and he made her run
Three times round in the place of one
He worked so hard he was quickly made
The Lord High Turner of his trade[Chorus]
His fame spread wide o'er hill and dale
His face appeared in the Daily Mail
Cheap coach trips were organised
All to gaze at the lad's blue eyes[Chorus]
Still William turned with a saintly smile
The goods he made grew such a pile
They filled his room and the room next door
And overflowed to the basement floor
[Chorus]
But sad the sequel now to tell
With profits raised the boss could sell
To take-over group from London Town
The first redundant case was Brown!
[Chorus]
Now he's in the queue a-waiting
He's in the queue a-waiting
He's in the queue a-waiting
And he gets a little thinner each day
[Chorus]
Now workers don't be such a clown
But take a tip from William Brown
If you work too hard you'll surely be
Wiser but poorer same as he
[Chorus]
For he's in the queue a-waiting
He's in the queue a-waiting
He's in the queue a-waiting
And he gets a little thinner each day
 
 
16. Kevin Barry (who died 01/11/20)
In Mountjoy jail one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty
But a lad of eighteen summers
Yet no one can deny
As he walked to death that morning
He proudly held his head up high
[Chorus]
Shoot me like an Irish soldier
Do not hand me like a dog
For I fought for free old Ireland
On that bright September morn
All around that little bakery
Where we fought them hand to hand
Shoot me like an Irish soldier
For I fought for free old Ireland
Just before he faced the hangman
In his lonely prison cell
British soldiers tortured Barry
Just because he would not tell
The names of his companions
Other things they wished to know
Turn informer, and we will free you
Kevin Barry answered no
[Chorus]
Another martyr for old Ireland
Another murder for the crown
Whose brutal laws may kill the Irish
But can't keep their spirit down
Lads like Barry are no cowards

From the foe they will not fly
Lads like Barry will free Ireland
For her sake they'll live and die
 
17. I Am A Merry Ploughboy
I am a merry ploughboy
And I plough the fields by day
But a certain thought came into my head
And I think I'll run away
I've always hated slavery
Since the day I was born
So I'm off to join the IRA
And I'm off tomorrow morn
[Chorus]
So I'm off to Dublin In the green in the green
Where the helmets glisten in the sun
And the bayonets flash and the rifles crash
To rattle of the Thompson gun
I'll leave behind my pick and spade
And I'll leave behind my plough
And I'll leave behind my old grey mare
For I'll never need her now
I'll take my short revolver
And my bandolier of lead
And do or die I can but try
To avenge my country's dead
[Chorus]
I'll leave behind my Mary
She's the girl I do adore
I hope that she will wait for me
When she hears the rifles road
And when the war is over
And good old Ireland's free
I'll take her to church to wed
And a rebel's wife she'll be
[Chorus]
 

 
18. Hallelujah I'm a Bum (by Harry McClintock, the song of the Wobblies)
Oh why don't you work like other men do
How the hell can I work when there is no work to do
[Chorus]
Hallelujah I'm a bum
Hallelujah bum again
Hallelujah give us a hand-out
To revive us again
I went to a house, I knocked on the door
The lady says scram bum, you've been here before
[Chorus]
I went to a house, I asked for some bread
The lady came out, said the baker was dead
[Chorus]
Oh I love my boss, he's a good friend of mine
That's why I'm starving out on the breadline
[Chorus]
Oh why don't you save the money you earn
If I didn't eat I'd have money to burn
[Chorus]
Oh I love my boss, he's a good friend of mine
I love him, I love him, the dirty old swine
 
19. We Shall Not Be Moved
The union is a marching, we shall not be moved
We're fighting for our children, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree
That's planted by the waterside

We shall not be moved
We're fighting for our freedom, we shall not be moved
The union is behind us, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree
That's planted by the watersideWe shall not be moved
 
20. Dump the Bosses off Your Back
Are you poor, forlorn and hungry, are there lots of things you lack
Is your life made up of mis'ry, then dump the bosses off your back
Are your clothes all patched and tattered, are you living in a shack
Would you have your troubles scattered, then dump the bosses off your back
Are you almost split asunder, loaded like a long-eared jack
Boob, why don't you buck like thunder and dump the bosses off your back
All the agonies you suffer, you can end with one good whack
Stiffen up, your ornery duffer, and dump the bosses off your back
 
21. On the Picket Line
We win our strike and all our demands
Come and picket on the picket line
In one strong union we'll join our hands
Come and picket on the picket line
[Chorus]
On the line, on the line, on the picket line
The dirty little scab, we'll use him like a rag
Come and picket on the picket line
If you've never spent a night in jail
Come and picket on the picket line
You will be invited without fail
Come and picket on the picket line
[Chorus]
If you don't like scabs or thugs or stools
Come and picket on the picket line
For you show the boss the worker rules
When you picket on the picket line
 
22. Joe Hill (by Alfred Hayes)
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
Alive as you or me
Says I but Joe, you're ten years dead
I never died said he, I never died said he
In Salt Lake Joe, by god says I
Him standing by my bed
They framed you on a murder charge
Says Joe, but I ain't dead, says Joe, but I ain't dead
The copper bosses killed you Joe
They shot you Joe, says I
Takes more than guns to kill a man
Says Joe, I didn't die, says Joe, I didn't die
And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes
Joe says what they forgot to kill
Went on to organise, went on to organise
Joe Hill ain't dead, he says to me
Joe Hill ain't never died
Where working men are out on strike
Joe Hill is by their side, Joe Hill is by their side
From San Diego up to Maine
In every mine and mill
Where workers strike and organise
Says he, you'll find Joe Hill, he says you'll find Joe Hill
I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
Alive as you or me
Says I but Joe, you're ten years dead
I never died said he, I never died said he (repeated softly)

23. Casey Jones (by Joe Hill)
The workers on the SP line to strike sent out a call
But Casey Jones the engineer, he wouldn't strike at all
His boilers they were leaking and his drivers on the bum
And his engine and its bearings they were all out of plumb
Casey Jones kept his junk pile running
Casey Jones was working double time
Casey Jones got a wooden medal
For being good and faithful on the SP line
The workers said to Casey, won't you help us win this strike
But Casey said let me alone, you'd better take a hike
Then someone put a bunch of railroad ties across the track
And Casey hit the river with an awful crack
Casey Jones hit the river bottom
Casey Jones broke his blooming spine
Casey Jones was an Angelino
He took a trip to heaven on the SP line
When Casey Jones got up to heaven to the pearly gate
He said, I'm Casey Jones, the guy that pulled the SP freight
You're just the man said Peter, our musicians are on strike
You can get a job a-scabbing anytime you like
Casey Jones got a job in heaven
Casey Jones was doing mighty fine
Casey Jones went scabbing on the angels
Just like he did to the workers on the SP line
The angels got together and they said it wasn't fair
For Casey Jones to go around a-scabbing everywhere
The Angels Union No.23, they sure were there
And they promptly fired Casey down the golden stair
Casey Jones went to hell a-flying
Casey Jones, the devil said oh fine
Casey Jones, get busy shovelling sulphur
That's what you get for scabbing on the SP line
 
24. Sit Down
When they tie the can to the union man, sit down sit down
When they give him the sack
They'll take him back, sit down sit down
[Chorus]
Sit down, just take a seat, sit down and rest your feet
Sit down, you got ‘em beat, sit down sit down
When they smile and say no raise in pay, sit down sit down
When you want the boss to come across, sit down sit down 
[Chorus]
When the speed comes up, just twiddle your thumbs, sit down sit down
When you want ‘em to know, they'd better go slow, sit down sit down
[Chorus]
When the boss won't talk, don't take a walk, sit down sit down
When the boss sees that, he'll want a little chat, sit down sit down

25. What Did You Learn in School Today (by Tom Paxton)
[Chorus]
What did you learn in school today
Dear little boy of mine
Dear little boy of mine
I learned that Washington never told a lie
I learned that soldiers seldom die
I learned that everybody is free
That's what the teacher said to me
And that's what I learned in school today
Today that's what I learned in school
[Chorus]
I learned that policemen are my friends
I learned that justice never ends
I learned that murderers die for their crimes
Even if we make a mistake sometimes
And that's what I learned in school today
Today that's what I learned in school
[Chorus]
I learned that war is not so bad
I learned of the great ones we had had
We fought in Germany and in France
And someday I might get my chance
And that's what I learned in school today
Today that's what I learned in school
[Chorus]
I leant our government must be strong
Its always right and never wrong
Our leaders are the finest men
We elect them again and again
And that's what I learned in school today
Today that's what I learned in school
 
26. Pie in the Sky (by Joe Hill)
Long-haired preachers come out ev'ry night
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right
But when asked how ‘bout something to eat
They will answer in voices so sweet
[Chorus]
They will eat, by and by, in the glorious land above the sky
Work and pray, live on hay, you'll get pie in the sky when you die
(It's a lie!)

On the starvation army they play
And they sing, and the dance, and they pray
Till they get all you money on the drum
Then they'll tell you when you're on the bum
[Chorus]
Holy rollers and jumpers come out
And they holler, and they jump, and they shout
Give you're money to Jesus, they'll say
He will cure all the diseases today[Chorus]
If you fight hard for children and wife
Try to get something good in this life
You're a sinner and a bad man, they tell
When you die you will sure go to hell[Chorus]
Working men of all countries unite
Side by side, we for freedom will fight
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafter we'll sing this refrain[Last chorus]
You will eat-by and by; when you've learned how to cook and to fry
And you'll eat in the sweet by and by
 
27. Deroitium
There was a rich man and he lived in detroitium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
And all the workers he did exploitium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
[Chorus]
Heirojarum, heirojarum,
skinamalinkidoolium
Skinamalinkidoodlium glory hallelujah heirojarum
The poor man worked till he was nearly deadium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
When he got home he fell right into bedium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum[Chorus]
He asked for a raise but the boss only saidium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
Get out of here you lousy little radium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum[Chorus]
The poor man finally came to the conclusion
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
To get his raise he'd better join the union
Glory hallelujah heirojarum[Chorus]
He talked to the boss again but not alonium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
They said don't forget what the union did to Sloanium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum[Chorus]
The boss wouldn't talk so they sat in the plantium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
All the boss could do was rave and rantium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum[Chorus]
The moral of this is that unions are no jokium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum
A boss who gets smart with the union may go brokium
Glory hallelujah heirojarum[Chorus]

28. Union Buttons
(to the tune of We'll be Coming Round the Mountains)

We'll be wearing union buttons while we work
We'll be wearing union buttons while we work
We'll be wearing union buttons, wearing union buttons
We'll be wearing union buttons while we work
We'll all be union members while we work
We'll all be union members while we work
We'll all be union members, all be union members
We'll all be union members while we work
We'll be building up the union while we work
We'll be building up the union while we work
We'll be building up the union, building up the union
We'll be building up the union while we work
We'll be getting living wages while we work
We'll be getting living wages while we work
We'll be getting living wages, getting living wages
We'll be getting living wages while we work
We'll all be reading Militant while we work
We'll all be reading Militant while we work
We'll all be reading Militant, all be reading Militant
We'll all be reading Militant while we work
 
29. Scabs in the Factory
(to the tune of Skip to my Lou)

Scabs in the factory, that won't do
Scabs in the factory, that won't do
Scabs in the factory, that won't do, skip to m'Lou my darling
Three cents a dozen, that won't do
Three cents a dozen, that won't do

Three cents a dozen, that won't do, skip to m'Lou my darling
Twelve hours a day, that won't do
Twelve hours a day, that won't do
Twelve hours a day, that won't do, skip to m'Lou my darling
Bully bosses, that won't do
Bully bosses, that won't do
Bully bosses, that won't do, skip to m'Lou my darling
 
30. We Pity Our Bosses Five (improvise)
We pity our bosses five
We pity our bosses five
A thousand a week is all they get
How can they keep alive
O we pity our bosses son
We pity our bosses son
Fifty a week is all he gets
The lousy son of a gun
 
31. Union Maid (by Woody Guthrie)
There once was a union uaid
She never was afraid
If guards and ginks and company finks
Or deputy sheriffsThat made the raid
She went to the union hall
When a meeting it was called
And when the legion boys come round
She always stood her ground
[Chorus]
Oh you can't scare me, I'm sticking by the union
Sticking by the union, sticking by the union
Oh, you can't scare me, I'm sticking by the union
Sticking to the Union till the day I die
She went to the picket line
One morning just at nine
And the guards and ginks and company finks
Come a skipping you
The morning dew
They had their clubs and guns
They had their knives and bombs
They stood up as still as if they's dead
When she jumped up said
[Chorus]
When the union boys they seen
The pretty little union queen
Stand up and sing in deputies' face
They laughed and yelled
All over the place
And you know what they done?
These two-gun company thugs
When they heard this union song
They tucked their tails and run
 
 
32. The Boss is having a Terrible Time, Parlez-Vous
The boss is having a terrible time, parlez-vous
The boss is having a terrible time, parlez-vous
Keeping us off the picket line
Hinky dinky parlez-vous
The scabs are having a terrible time, parlez-vous
The scabs are having a terrible time, parlez-vous
Getting through the picket line
Hinky dinky parlez-vous
When a scab dies he goes to hell, parlez-vous
When a scab dies he goes to hell, parlez-vous
The rats and skunks all ring the bell
Hinky dinky parlez-vous

The workers picket every day, parlez-vous
The workers picket every day, parlez-vous
For shorter hours and higher pay
Hinky dinky parlez-vous
Oh we are going to win this strike, parlez-vous
Oh we are going to win this strike, parlez-vous
We'll picket all day and we'll picket all night
Hinky dinky parlez-vous
The boss is shaking at the knees, parlez-vous
The boss is shaking at the knees, parlez-vous
In his silken B.V.D's
Hinky dinky parlez-vous
They say it is a terrible war, parlez-vous
They say it is a terrible war, parlez-vous
So what the hell are we fighting it for?
Hinky dinky parlez-vous
 
 
33. The Ballad of Harriet Tubman (by Woody Guthrie)
I was five years old in Bucktown Maryland
When into slavery I was sent
I'll tell you of the beatings and of the fighting
In my ninety-three years I've spent
I helped a field hand make a run for freedom
When my fifteenth year was rolling round
And the guard he caught him in a little store
In a little slavery village town
The boss made a grab to catch the field hand
I jumped in and blocked the door
The boss he hit me with a two pound scale iron
And I went black down on the floor
On a bundle of rags in our log cabin
My mother she ministered unto my needs
It was here I swore I'd give my life blood
Just to turn my people free
In ‘44 I married John Tubman
Well I loved him well till ‘49
But he would not come and fight beside me
So I left him there behind
I left Bucktown with my two brothers
But they got scared and run back home
I followed my northern star of freedom
I walked the grass and trees alone
I slept in a barn loft and in a haystack
I slept with my people in slavery shacks
They said I'd die by the bossman's bullets
But I told them I can't turn back
The sun was shining in the early morning
When I come to my free state lineI pinched myself
to see if I was dreaming
I just could not believe my eyes
I went back home and I got my parents
I loaded them into a buckboard hag
We crossed six states and other slaves followed
Up to Canada we made our tracks
One slave got scared and he tried to turn backwards
I pulled my pistol in front of his eyes
I said get up and walk to your freedom
Or by this fireball you will die
When John Brown hit them at Harper's Ferry
My men was fighting right by his side
When John Brown swung upon his gallows
It was then I hung my head and cried
Give the black man guns and give him powder
To Abe Lincoln this I said
You've just crippled that snake of slavery
We_ve got to fight to kill him dead
When we faced the guns of lightning
And the thunders broke our sleep
After we waded the bloody rainstorms
It was dead men that we reaped

Yes we faced the zigzag lightning
But it was worth the price we paid
When our thunder had rumbled over
We'd laid slavery in it's grave
Come now and stand around my deathbed
And I will sing some spirit songs
I'm my way to my greater union
Now my ninety-three years are gone.
 

  
34. We Want Nationalisation
(by Merseyside Young Socialists)
(To the tune of Land of Hope and Glory)

We want nationalisation
We want workers' control
We want union freedom
And the Tories on the dole
Down with billionaire bosses
Let them feel the workers' rage
We want equal pay at eighteen
And a national minimum wage
Out with sweated labour
Kick out the Tory clique
Equal pay for women
And a shorter working week
Higher old age pensions
Unity - white, black or brown
These are our intentions
When we've brought the Tories down
Comprehensive education
A fully free national health
For the workers of the nation
We'll use the nation's wealth
So three cheers for the workers
Who've had poverty far too long
And as we go to battle
We will sing this song
We want nationalisation
We want workers' control
We want union freedom
And the Tories on the dole
 
 
35. The Capitalist Game (by Merseyside Young Socialists)  (To the tune of The Patriot Game)
I am a school leaver, just fifteen years old
When I finished my schooling, I went straight on the dole
Now I'm disillusioned, my comrades are all the same
Cos till now we've been pawns in the capitalist game
[Chorus]
But now we are marching from all parts of the land
Comrades united, for socialism we stand
We fight for our freedom, we fight till we win
To make those capitalists pay for their capitalist sin
I was an apprentice, my time now is served
What jobs do they offer? Well such is their nerve
Leave your homes and go south, join the forces this week
Now you know why we're fighting this capitalist clique
[Chorus]
I've worked all my life, what rewards do I show?
Like my younger comrades, I'm rejected now
Despondent and bitter, we'll make a fresh stand
Never rest till we've banished the capitalist band
[Chorus]


36. Aye Lads (by Tyneside Young Socialists)
(To the tune of Blaydon Races)
Aye lads, we all want nationalisation
But not the kind they've got in the mines
Nor in the railway stations
We want workers' control, and not participation
And then we'll be on we're way - to the socialist transformation
 
 
37. Song of the United Front (by Bertoldt Brecht)
And just because he's human
He doesn't like a pistol to his headHe wants no servants under him
And no boss over is head
[Chorus]
Then left, two, three, then left, two, three
To the work that we must do
March on to the workers' united front
For you are a worker too
Another version
And man is only human
He must eat before he can think
Fine words are only empty air
But not his meat or his drink
[Chorus]
Then left, right, left, then left, right, left
There's a place, comrade, for you
March with us in the ranks of the working class
For you are a worker too
 
38. Sing a Song of Sixpence (from the 1929 Independent Labour Party Songbook)
Sing a song of sixpence, sing it every year
Sing it to the chancellor when budget time is near
Dad's at Monte Carlo
Mother's a Deauville
And sixpence off the income tax will buy another car
Sing a song of sixpence, tax the poor a lot
They only spend in wickedness the money they have got
Tuppence off the tea tax will not go very far
But sixpence off the income tax will buy another car
Sing a song of sixpence, its always nice to know
That wages may be falling, but profits grow and grow
Miners' folk and suchlike are very cheap to feed
But living in Belgravia is very dear indeed
 
39. Red Fly the Banners Oh (to the tune of Green Grow the Rushes Oh)
[Chorus 1]
I'll sing you one oh
Red fly the banners oh
What is your one oh?

One is workers' unity
And ever more shall be so

[Chorus 2]
I'll sing you two oh
Red fly the banners oh
What is your two oh?

Two, two the worker's hands
Working for a living oh
One is workers' unity
 
And ever more shall be so
[Repeat chorus and add each new line]
 
Three, three, the rights of man
Four for the four great teachers [shout Marx Engel Lenin Stalin]
Five for years of the socialist plan
Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs
Seven for the hours of the working day
Eight for the eighth route army
Nine for the days of the general strike
Ten for the days that shook the world
Eleven for the Moscow Dynamos
Twelve for the Moscow Dynamo Reserves
 
40. Leon Trotsky is a Nazi (to the tune of Clementine)
Leon Trotsky was a nazi, oh I know it for a fact
First I read it then I said it, till the Stalin-Hitler pact
[Chorus]
Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling party line
Never break thee or forsake thee
Oh my darling party line
In a palace in the Kremlin in the fall of thirty nine
Sat a Russian and a Prussian working out the party line
[Chorus]
In Siberia, in Siberia, excavating for a mine
Was an old Bolshevik who forgot the party line
[Chorus]

[last verse to the tune of Auld Lang's Syne]

And should old Bolshies be forgot, and never brought to mind
You'll find them in Siberia, with a ball and chain behind
A ball and chain behind, my dear, a ball and chain behind
Joe Stalin shot the bloody lot for the sake of the party line
 
 
42. Summit in the Sky (to the tune of Pie in the Sky)
CP hacks they come out every night
Try to tell us what's left and what's right
They will say revolution is fine
Then they give us that coexistence line
[Chorus]
You'll have peace by and byIn that diplomatic summit in the sky
Fight munitions with petitions
You'll have peace in that summit in the sky, it's a lie
Yalta showed us some fine summitry
Here's the pie, some for you, some for me
But said Truman, I'll take one more slice
And the Greek working class paid the price[Chorus]
The UN is the world's force for peace
But it doesn't seem to like the Congolese
Kasavubu was able to see
What the UN had done for Syngman Rhee[Chorus]
CP deputies backed Guy Mollet
Tried to draw France from NATO away
Backed the war in Algeria without qualm
Now the French have their own atom bomb
[Chorus]
When we've done with the boss and glutton
When we've taken their hand off the button
Then at last you'll have peace in all lands
When the world is in working class hands
 
43. Free Beer for all the Workers (to the tune of Glory Glory Hallelujah)
[Chorus]
Free beer for all the workers
Free beer for all the workers
Free beer for all the workers
When the red revolution comes
We'll turn Buckingham Palace into a public lavatory
We'll turn Buckingham Palace into a public lavatory
We'll turn Buckingham Palace into a public lavatory
When the red revolution comes
[Chorus]
We'll make Princess Margaret do a striptease in the Strand
We'll make Princess Margaret do a striptease in the Strand
We'll make Princess Margaret do a striptease in the Strand
When the red revolution comes
[Chorus]
We'll make Winston Churchill smoke a Woodbine everyday
We'll make Winston Churchill smoke a Woodbine everyday
We'll make Winston Churchill smoke a Woodbine everyday
When the red revolution comes
[Chorus]
We'll make Hugh Gaitskill sell his shares in ICI
We'll make Hugh Gaitskill sell his shares in ICI
We'll make Hugh Gaitskill sell his shares in ICI
When the red revolution comes
[Chorus]
We'll make Lady Docker sweep the steps of Transport House
We'll make Lady Docker sweep the steps of Transport House
We'll make Lady Docker sweep the steps of Transport House
When the red revolution comes
[Chorus]

We'll make Johnny Gollan eat a dozen British roads
We'll make Johnny Gollan eat a dozen British roads
We'll make Johnny Gollan eat a dozen British roads
When the red revolution comes
[Chorus]

44. Bomb the Bourgeoisie (to the tune of The Lincolnshire Poacher)
Now when I entered politics
To see the workers free
I left the Labour Party
And I joined the red CP
With bags of gold from Moscow boys
And tons of TNT
Oh tis my delight on a filthy night
To bomb the bourgeoisie
 
45. Blow the Bloody Bugles Boys
Blow the bloody bugles boys
And bang the bloody drums
We'll blow the bloody bourgeoisie to bloody kingdom come
Build the bloody fires boys
As high as bloody pyres
And we'll burn the bloody bastards one by one
 
46. Onward Tribune Socialists (to the tune of Onward Christian Soldiers)
Onward Tribune socialists, marching through the storm
We have found the answer, and the answer's left reform
We want more council houses, one in every town
Scrap and rebuild the army, keep unemployment down
We demand no sackings and five days wages too
But if we can't get it, then four days wages will do

And if this escapes us, we'll try something new
We'll slap on import charges, and tax the bosses too
Onwards into Parliament, march the leftist hoards
We demand inquiries into the House of Lords
And to please the workers, we'll have a special prize
As an almighty climax, we might even nationalise
 
47. 1945 Election Campaign
Vote vote vote for Clement Atlee
Chuck old Churchill down the drain
If it wasn't for the law
I would sock him in the jaw
And we wouldn't see old Churchill anymore
 
48. Red Flag Once a Year (to the tune of The Red Flag)

The people's flag is palest pink
Its not as red as you may think
White collar workers stand and cheer
The Labour government is here
We'll change the country bit by bit
So nobody will notice it
And just to prove we're still sincere
We'll sing the red flag once a year
 
49. Harry (Pollitt) was a Bolshie
Harry was a bolshie, one of Stalin's lads
Till he was foully murdered by reactionary cads
By reactionary cads, by reactionary cads
Till he was foully murdered by reactionary cads
Old Harry went to heaven, met St Peter with the keys
Said he, can I see comrade god, I'm Harry Pollitt please
I'm Harry Pollitt please, I'm Harry Pollitt please
Said he, can I see comrade god, I'm Harry Pollitt please
Who are you said St Peter, are you humble and contrite
I'm a friend of Lady Astor's. Well come in, that's quite alright
Well come in, that's quite alright, well come in, that's quite alright
I'm a friend of Lady Astor's. Well come in, that's quite alright
They put him in the choice, but the hymns he did not like
So he organised the angels, and brought them out on strike
And brought them out on strike, and brought them out on strike
So he organised the angels, and brought them out on strike
One day when god was walking through heaven to meditate
What did he see but Harry, chalking slogans on the gate
Chalking slogans on the gate, chalking slogans on the gate
What did he see but Harry, chalking slogans on the gate
They brought him up for trial before the holy ghost
For spreading disaffection among the heavenly host
Among the heavenly host, among the heavenly host
For spreading disaffection among the heavenly host
The verdict it was guilty, and Harry said oh well
Then tucked his nightie around his knees, and drifted down to hell
And drifted down to hell, and drifted down to hell
Then tucked his nightie around his knees, and drifted down to hell
Seven long years have passed and Harry's doing well
They've made him people's commissar of soviet socialist hell
Of soviet socialist hell, of soviet socialist hell
They've made him people's commissar of soviet socialist hell
Another seven years have passed, John Gollan's there as well
And all the little devils have joined the YCL
Have joined the YCL, have joined the YCL
And all the little devils have joined the YCL

And the moral of this story is very plain to tell
If you want to be a Stalinist, then you can go to hell
Then you can go to hell, then you can go to hell
If you want to be a Stalinist, then you can go to hell
 
50. The People's Commissars (to the tune of The Bold Gendarmes)
We are the people's commissariat
The guardians of the workers' state
The vanguard of the proletariat
We teach them who they ought to hate
But when it comes to fellow travellers
Who ride in Yankee motor cars
We run them in, we run them in
We run them in, we run them in
We are the people's commissariat
We're on our guard for deviations
And anti-party groups we fight
We are the mentors of the nation
We teach them that left is right
And when it comes to trots and Bolsheviks
They're better kept behind steel bars
We run them in, we run them in
We run them in, we run them in
We are the people's commissariat
And when we meet with delegations
Of bosses from Western states
We strive for cordial relations
We all get drunk and call them mates
We drink to peaceful coexistence
We rather like their fat cigars
We drink their gin, we drink their gin
We drink their gin, we drink their gin
We are the people's commissariat
In our position life gets dangerous
When they decide to change the line
But we have friends who can arrange for us
To be let off with just a fine
But if our friends are liquidated
Our fate will be just like the czars
They'll rub us out, they'll rub us out
They'll rub us out, they'll rub us out
The bloody people's commissars
 
 
51. In memory of the Paris Commune -born 18 March 1871, and died in June the same year (by Walter CraneMarch, 1891)
What winged shape, with waving torch aflame
Wild with winds of March, and streaming hair
Above the storm clouds, doth to men declare
What message, and a memory doth claim
A star through drifting smoke of praise and blame
The toilers` beacon, still to re-appear
With spring-tide hopes new quickening year by year
Since bright in Freedom's dawn the COMMUNE came
Maligned, betrayed, short-lived to act and teach
Whose blood lies still upon the hands that slew
E'en now, when Labour knocks upon the gate
That shuts on Privilege, He thinks of you
And what men dared and suffered, and their fate
Who ruled a City, once, for all and each
 
52. He is my brother (by Antoni Slonimski)
This man, who his own fatherland forgets
When of the shedding of Czech blood he hears

Who, as a brother feels for Yugoslavia
Who in the pain of Norway`s people shares
Who with the Jewish mother wrings his hands
In grief and bends with her above her slain
Who Russian is, when Russia falls and bleeds
And with Ukrainian weeps for the Ukraine
This man, with heart to all compassionate
French, when France suffers in captivity
Greek, when Greeks in cold and hunger perish
He is my brother -man. He is Humanity
 
53. To Nearly Everybody in Europe Today (by Hugh MacDiarmid)
A war to save civilization, you say
Then what have you to do with it, pray
Some attempt to acquire it would show truer love
Than fighting for something you know nothing of
 
54. Honour to Labour (by Ferdinand Freiligrath)
He who swings a mighty hammer
He who reaps a field of corn
He who breaks the marshy meadow
To provide for wife, for children
He who rows against the current
He who weary at the loom
Weaves with wool and tow and flax
That his fair-haired young may flourish
Honour that man, praise the worker
Honour every callous hand
Honour every drop of sweat
That is shed in mill and foundry
Honour every dripping forehead
At the plough. And let that man
Who with mind and spirit's labour
Hungering ploughs be not forgotten
 
55. Never Give Up (Northern Star, February 22 1845)
NEVER give up! It is wiser and better
Always to hope than once to despair
Fling off the load of Doubt's cankering fetter
And break the dark spell of tyrannical care
Never give up! or the burden may sink you
Providence kindly has mingled the cup
And, in all trials or troubles, bethink you
The watchword of life must be,
Never give up
Never give up!
There are chances and changes
Helping the hopeful a hundred to one
And through the chaos High Wisdom arranges
Ever success -if you'll only hope on
Never give up! For the wildest is boldest
Knowing that Providence mingles the cup
And of all maxims the best, as the oldest
Is the watchword of Never give up
Never give up! - tho' the grape-shot may rattle
Or the full thunder-cloud over you burst
Stand like a rock,-and the storm or the battle
Little shall harm you, though doing their worst
Never give up! if adversity presses
Providence wisely has mingled the cup
And the best counsel, in all your distresses
Is the stout watchword of Never give up!
 
56. The United Fruit Co. Pablo Neruda
When the trumpet sounded, it was all prepared on the earth
the Jehovah parcelled out the earth
to Coca Cola, Inc., Anaconda, 
Ford Motors, and other entities
The Fruit Company, Inc.
reserved for itself the most succulent
the central coast of my own land
the delicate waist of America
It rechristened its territories
as the `Banana Republics`
and over the sleeping dead
over the restless heroes
who brought about the greatness
the liberty and the flags
it established the comic opera
abolished the independencies
presented crowns of Caesaruns
heathed envy, attracted
the dictatorship of the flies
Trujillo flies, Tacho flies
Carias flies, Martines flies
Ubico flies, damp flies
of modest blood and marmalade
drunken flies who zoom
over the ordinary graves
circus flies, wise flies
well trained in tyranny
Among the blood-thirsty flies
the Fruit Company lands its ships
taking off the coffee and the fruit
the treasure of our submerged
territories flow as though
on plates into the ships
Meanwhile Indians are falling
into the sugared chasms
of the harbours, wrapped
for burials in the mist of the dawn
a body rolls, a thing
that has no name, a fallen cipher
a cluster of the dead fruit
thrown down on the dump
 
57. Eat More (by Joe Corrie)
'Eat more fruit!' the slogans say
'More fish, more beef, more bread'
But I'm on Unemployment pay
My third year now, and wed
And so I wonder when I'll see
The slogan when I pass
The only one that would suit me
'Eat More Bloody Grass!'

58. I Am The Common Man (by Joe Corrie)
I am the Common Man
I am the brute and the slave
I am the fool, the despised
From the cradle to the grave
I am the hewer of coal
I am the tiller of soil
I am serf of the seas
Born to bear and to toil
I am the builder of halls
I am the dweller of slums
I am the filfth and the scourge
When winter's depression comes
I am the fighter of wars
I am the killer of men
Not for a day or an age
But again and again and again
I am the Common Man
But Masters of mine take heed

For you have put into my head
Oh many a wicked deed
 
59. How few there are... (by Joe Corrie)
How few there are with unsoiled hands
And educated tongues
Who'll stand by us, my working friends
And help to right our wrongs
They go a certain length with us
But faint of heart return
When we meet someone with a cross
Bearing a crown of thorn
 
59a. Party Card (by Yevgeny Yevtushenko)

A SHOT-UP forest full of black holes
Mind-crushing explosions
He wants some berries, he wants some berries
the young lieutenant, lying in his blood
I was a smallish boy
who crawled in the long grass till it was dark
and brought him back a cap of strawberries
and when they came there was no use for them
the rain of July lightly falling
He was lying in remoteness and silence
among the ruined tanks and the dead
The rain glistened on his eyelashes
There were sadness and worry in his eyes
I waited saying nothing and soaking
like waiting for an answer to something
he couldn't answer. Passionate with silence
unable to see when he asked me
I took his party card from his pocket
And small and tired and without understanding
wandering in the flushed and smoking dark
met up with refugees moving east
and somehow through the terribly flashing night
we travelled without tickets, the priest
with his long grey hair and his rucksack
and me and a sailor with a wounded arm
Child crying. Horse whinnying
And answered to with love and with courage
and white, white, the bell-towers rang out
speaking to Russia with a tocsin voice
Wheat fields blackened round their villages
In the woman's coat I wore at that time
I felt for the party card close to my heart
 
60. Manifesto (by Victor Jara)
I don't sing for love of singing
or to show off my voice
but for the statements
made by my honest guitar
for its heart is of the earth
and like the dove it goes flying....
endlessly as holy water
blessing the brave and the dying
so my song has found a purpose
as Violet Parra would say
Yes, my guitar is a worker
shining and smelling of spring
my guitar is not for killers
greedy for money and power
but for the people who labour
so that the future may flower
For a song takes on a meaning
when its own heart beat is strong
sung by a man who will die singing
truthfully singing his song
I don't care for adulation
or so that strangers may weep.
I sing for a far strip of country
narrow but endlessly deep

61. Prayer to a Labourer (by Victor Jara)
Stand upLook at the mountain
Source of the wind, the sun, the water
You who change the course of rivers
Who with the seed sows the flight of your soul
Stand upLook at your hands
Take your brother's hand
So you can grow
We'll go together, united by blood
The future can begin today
Deliver us from the master who keeps us in misery
Thy kingdom of justice and equality come
Blow, like the wind blows
the wild flower of the mountain pass
Clean the barrel of my gun like fire
Stand up
Look at your hands
Take your brother's hand so you can grow
We'll go together, united by blood
Now and in the hour of our death. Amen
 
62. Chile Stadium (by Victor Jara, between 12-15 September 1973, just before he was murdered by the Pinochet regime)
There are five thousand of us here
in this little part of the city
We are five thousand
I wonder how many we are in all
In the cities and in the whole country
Here alone
are ten thousand hands which plant seeds
and make the factories run
How much humanity
exposed to hunger, cold, panic, pain
moral pressures, terror and insanity
Six of us were lost as if into starry space
One dead, another beaten as I could never
have believed a human being could be beaten
The other four wanted to end their terror
one jumping into nothingness
another beating his head against a wall
but all with the fixed look of death
What horror the face of fascism creates
They carry out their plans with
knife-like precision
Nothing matters to them
For them blood equals medals
slaughter is an act of heroism
Oh God, is this the world that you created
For this, your seven days of wonder and work
Within these four walls only a number exists
which does not progress
Which slowly will wish more and more for death.
But suddenly my conscience awakes
and I see this tide with no heartbeat
only the pulse of machines
and the military showing their midwives' faces
full of sweetness
Let Mexico, Cuba and the world
cry out against this atrocity
We are ten thousand hands which can produce nothing
How many of us in the whole country
The blood of our companero Presidente
will strike with more strength than bombsand machine guns
So will our fist strike again
How hard it is to sing
When I sing a song of horrorHorror which I am living
Horror which I am dying
To see myself among so muchand so many moments of infinity

in which silence and screams
are the end of my songWhat I see I have never seen
What I have felt and what I feel
will give birth to the moment......

63. What is a Peer? (Northern Star,7 May 1842)
What is a peer? A useless thing
A costly toy, to please a king
A bauble near a throne
A lump of animated clay
A gaudy pageant of a day
An incubus; a drone!
What is a peer? A nation's curse
A pauper on the public purse
Corruption's own jackal
A haughty, domineering blade
A cuckold at a masquerade
A dandy at a ball
Ye butterflies, whom kings create
Ye caterpillars of the state
Now that your time is near!
This moral learn from nature's plan
That in creation God made man
But never made a peer
 
64. The Socialist A.B.C. (by Alex Glasgow)
When that I was a little tiny boy
Me daddy said to me'The time has come, me bonny, bonny bairn
To learn your ABC'
Now daddy was a Lodge Chairman
In the coalfields of the Tyne
And that ABC was different
From the Enid Blyton kind
He sang
A is for Alienation that made me the man that I am
and B's for the Boss who's a bastard, a bourgeois who don't give a damn
C is for Capitalism, the boss's reactionary creed
and D's for Dictatorship, laddie, but the best proletarian breed
E is for Exploitation, that the workers have suffered so long
and F is for old Ludwig Feuerbach, the first one to see it was
wrong
G is for all Gerrymanderers, like Lord Muck and Sir Whatsisname
and H is the Hell that they'll go to, when the workers have
kindled the flame
I is for Imperialism, and America's kind is the worst
and J is for sweet Jingoism, that the Tories all think of first
K is for good old Keir Hardie, who fought out the working classfight
and L is for Vladimir Lenin, who showed him the Left was all right
M is of course for Karl Marx, the daddy and the mammy of them all
and N is for Nationalisation, without it we'd crumble and fall
O is for Overproduction that capitalist economy brings
and P is for Private Property, the greatest of all of the sins
Q is for the Quid pro quo, that we'll deal out so well and so soon
when R for Revolution is shouted and the Red Flag becomes the
top tune
S is for sad Stalinism, that gave us all such a bad name
and T is for Trotsky the hero, who had to take all of the blame
U's for the Union of workers, the Union will stand to the end
and V is for Vodka, yes, Vodka, the one drink that don't bringthe bends
W is for all Willing workers, and that's where the memory fades
for X, Y and Z, me dear daddy said, will be written on the street
barricades
But now that I'm not a little tiny boy
Me daddy says to me
Please try to forget the things I said

Especially the ABCFor daddy's no longer a Union man
And he's had to change his plea
His alphabet is different now
Since they made him a Labour MP
 
65. History (by J.R. Jump)
History is more than the cobbled streets of the past
History is more than cathedrals and castles
more than triumphal arches in Rome, Paris or Madrid
History is more than churches and mosques
more than the crosses and statues of Christ
that crowns so many Spanish hills
History is people
History is the students demonstrating
the ecologists striving to protectthe human race
History is at the heart of every popular movement
the Levellers, the Chartists, the Popular Front
the women at Greenham Common and the liberation theologists
History is people
 
66. Communist May Day Demonstration in Madrid, 1985 (by J.R. Jump)
Red are the flapping banners
fluttering red the flags
Pulsating red the aspirations
of the people on paradered hope of the mothers for their toddling children
red hope for the vociferous students
who stride beside limping veterans of the Civil War
A people united will never be defeated!
they shout
but the socialists are not here with us
They have their own demonstration
where they, too, shout
A people united will never be defeated
but they march along a different route
 
67. Going Cheap (by Benjamin Zephaniah)
A dollar head shouts BuyA pound head shouts Sell
A shopkeeper's shouting Capitalism will eat itself
A prophet's asking When
A caring father on the futures market has just condemned
A family on the West Coast of Africa to five years hard labour.
A speculator called that a result
Now here's a New World order... Large Burger and fries please
It's business as usual
Earthquakes cost moneyDams damn the needy
And Palestinians don't count
Now here's a New World order...
One oriental woman
Supermodel skinny
With Blonde Black girl bottom
Surgically modified nose
And genetically modified shit
It's the economy stupidIt's business as usual

68. An Ode to a Committee
Oh give me your pity, I'm on a committee
which means that from morning to night
we attend and amend, and contend and defend
without a conclusion in sight
We confer and concur, we defer and demur
and reiterate all of our thoughts
we revise the agenda with frequent addenda
and consider a load of reports
We compose and propose, we support and oppose
and points of procedure are fun
but though various notions are brought up as motions
there's still very little gets done
We resolve and absolve, but never dissolve
since that's out of the question for us
What a shattering pity to end our committee
for where else could we make such a fuss
 
69. To Working Men of Every Clime (Northern Star, 28 November 1840)

Working Men of every clime
Gather still, but bide your time
Bide your time, and wait a wee
Yours will be the victory
Britain's sons, whose constant toil
Plies the looms and tills the soil
Lift the voice for liberty
Yours will be the victory
Toil-worn sons of Spain advance
Give the hand to those of France
Join you both with Italy
Yours will be the victory
Serfs of Poland, gather near
Raise, with Austria's sons, the cheer
Echoed far through Germany
Yours will be the victory
Danish workmen, hear the cry
Scandinavia's quick reply
Workmen, `panting to be free
Yours will be the victory
Dutchmen, linger not behind
Working men should be combined
Russian slaves themselves will see
Yours will be the victory
Europe's workmen, one and all
Rouse ye at your brethren's call
Shouting loud from sea to sea
Yours will be the victory
Kings and nobles may conspire
God will pour on them his ire
Workmen shout, for ye are free
Yours is now the victory
 

 
70. Ban Ban Ban the Bloody H-bomb (to the tune of John Brown's Body)

To hell with all the humbug and to hell with all the lies
To hell with all the strontium continuing to rise
To hell with all the Charlies with a gift for compromise
If they won't ban the H-bomb now
[Chorus]


Ban ban ban the bloody H-bomb
Ban ban ban the bloody H-bomb
Ban ban ban the bloody H-bomb
If you want to stay alive next week
Macmillan and the Tories are out to wait and see
They think the great deterrent will secure the victory
I don't know if they scare the reds, by god they frighten me
If they won't ban the H-bomb now
[Chorus]
Gaitskill's labour party are preparing for a sell
They want to get the votes and keep the atom bomb as well
But strontium will send us all to shovel coal in hell
If we don't ban the H-bomb now
[Chorus]
Now half of them are barmy and half of them are blind
They've all been talking far too long, its time they all resigned
And the way to shift a donkey is to wallop its behind
So we're going to ban the H-bomb now
[Chorus]
We're going to stop the loonies and preserve the human race
We're going to save our country ‘cause we love the dear old place
We might have to stuff a rocket up the rocket builder's base
But we're going to ban the H-bomb now
[Chorus]
Somewhere in the States they've got a button painted red
If anybody sits on it we'll all of us be dead
Meanwhile a million children are waiting to be fed
So we're going to ban the H-bomb now
[Chorus]

71. The H-bomb's Thunder
Don't you here the H-bomb's thunder
Echo like the crack of doom
While they rend the skies asunder
Fall-out makes the world a tomb
Do you want your home to tumble
Rise in smoke towards the sky
Will you let your cities crumble
Will you see your children die
[Chorus]
Men and women stand together
Do not heed the men of war
Make your minds up now or never
Ban the bomb for ever more
Tell the leaders of the nations
Make the whole wide world take heed
Poison from the radiations
Strikes at every race and creed
Time is short, we must be speedy
We can see the hungry filled
House the homeless, help the needy
Shall we blast or shall we build
[Chorus]

72. Ding Dong Dollar (to the tune of She'll be Coming Round the Mountain)
[Chorus]
Oh ye canna spend a dollar when you're dead
Oh ye canna spend a dollar when you're dead
Singing ding dong dollar, everybody holler
Oh ye canna spend a dollar when you're dead
Oh the Yanks have just dropped anchor in Dunoon
And they've had their civic welcome from th'toon
As they marched the measured mile
Bonnie Mary of Argyll
Was a-wearing spangled drawers beneath her goon
But the Glasgow moderator doesn't mind
In fact he thinks the Yanks are awful kind
If its heaven that you're going
It's a quicker way than rowing
And there's sure to be nobody left behind

[chorus]

73. One Man's Hands
One man's hands can't break a prison down
Two men's hands can't break a prison down
But if two and two and fifty make a million
We'll see that day come round
We'll see that day come round
One man's voice can't shout to make them hear
Two men's voices can't shout to make them hear
But if two and two and fifty make a million
We'll see that day come round
We'll see that day come round
One man's strength can't break the colour bar
Two men's strength can't break the colour bar
But if two and two and fifty make a million
We'll see that day come round
We'll see that day come round
One man's strength can't make the union roll
Two men's strength can't make the union roll
But if two and two and fifty make a million
We'll see that day come round
We'll see that day come round
One man's feet can't walk around the land
Two men's feet can't walk around the land
But if two and two and fifty make a million
We'll see that day come round
We'll see that day come round
One man's eyes can't see the way ahead
Two men's eyes can't see the way ahead
But if two and two and fifty make a million
We'll see that day come round
We'll see that day come round
 
74. Monster in the Loch
Och, och, there's a monster in the loch
A monster in the loch, a monster in the loch
Och, och, there's a monster in the loch
And we dinna want Polaris
Och, och, we're off to holy loch
Off to holy loch, off to holy loch
Och, och we're off to holy loch
And we dinna want Polaris
The USA are giving the subs away
Giving the subs away, giving the subs away
The USA are giving the subs away
And we dinna want Polaris
Take them away, papa LBJ
Papa LBJ, papa LBJ
Take them away, papa LBJ
And we dinna want Polaris
Send the whole damn show up the Alamo
Up the Alamo, up the Alamo
Send the whole damn show up the Alamo
We dinna want Polaris
Suicide to have them in the Clyde
Have them in the Clyde, have them in the Clyde
Suicide to have them in the Clyde
And we dinna want Polaris
 
Two Songs from World War 1
75. If you want to find the colonel
I know where he is, I know where he is, I know where he is

Hanging another medal on his chestI saw him, I saw him
Hanging another medal on his chestI saw him, I saw him
Hanging another medal on his chest
If you want to know where the captain is
I know where he is, I know where he is, I know where he is
Going away on seven days leaveI saw him, I saw him
Going away on seven days leaveI saw him, I saw him
Going away on seven days leave
If you want to know where the sergeant is
I know where he is, I know where he is, I know where he is
Eating up the company's grubI saw him, I saw him
Eating up the company's grubI saw him, I saw him
Eating up the company's grub
If you want to know where the corporal is
I know where he is, I know where he is, I know where he is
Drunk upon the dugout floorI saw him, I saw him
Drunk upon the dugout floorI saw him, I saw him
Drunk upon the dugout floor
If you want to know where the private is
I know where he is, I know where he is, I know where he is
Hanging on the old barbed wireI saw him, I saw him
Hanging on the old barbed wireI saw him, I saw him
Hanging on the old barbed wire
 
76. I don't want to join the army
I don't want to go to war
I just want to hang around Piccadilly Underground
Living off the earnings of a high class lady
I don't want a bayonet up my arsehole
I don't want my bollocks shot away
I want to stay in England, merry, merry England
And fornicate my bleeding life away
 
77. Why do you believe in peace...Why? (by Amira Bashir)(Amira lives in Gaza, Palestine. She and her family are under constant attack from Israeli settlers who have been trying to force them from their land for several years.)
Why do you believe in peace...Why?
Because peace is the sky
Where we can all flylive, and enjoy our time
Because the baby and the child
have to work and try to stop the pain and cry
Because the sons of Abraham
have to work and try to stop
the massacre and the crime
Because with peace we can fly
like the bird in the sky
Have you known why? If not, here is the sky
So let's never be terrified of stopping the crisis
but let it be terrified of killing our lives
All the world and his wife just cannot deny
that peace is the sky where we all can fly
So choose either being high in the sky or
oh dear, in the wind's eye

78. Progress... (by Pat Arrowsmith)
Science is a two-edged sword
Millions the world over now are cured
Of disability, disease
We speed from continent to continent with ease
Enjoy instant water, light and heat
Some parched, starving people get relief
Our labs, observatories, computers
Help us discern the bounds of space
Even a second universe
Fathom the very source of life
Ingredients of brain and mind
But beware, the ultimate disaster
May lie in wait around the corner
Carelessness, stupidity or greed
May mean we use our graphs, equations
Observations, calculations
To pollute the Earth; even breed
Cloned monsters who may well displace us
Decimate countless other species
Invent diabolical devices
That surely will infect, irradiate
Slowly poison and debilitate
Then ineluctably destroy us
Devastate our fragile planet
 
79. Pledge for Justice (by Gordon Gleeson)
Let me be strong, healthy and gay
To fight injustice my particular way
May the world's poverty totally dismay
So I may fight for a better way
May I always be sensible
That the poverty of man is quenchable
Every denizen flowering potential
Distance of rich from destitute detestable
May I with intelligence, talents
Help redress poverty's imbalance
Help alleviate sickness, handicaps
Nationally and in distant habitats
May I reject the set up that is
And struggle for Global justice
Contra, dominative tyrannies
Liberty, Peace as praxis
 
80. Fight War Instead (by Gordon Gleeson)
Don't mourn the Dead
Fight war instead
Awful bloodshed
That the Brave foughtIn war were caught
By rulers wrought
That Youth should die
And mothers cry
For Power's lie
Don't mourn the Dead
Fight war instead
For Life has fled
Warfare kills men
Women children
Kind men kill them
Drags you down low
Eats up your soul
Makes friend now foe
Don't mourn the Dead
Fight war instead
Starts in your head
Duty Hate's tool
It makes you cruel

So they may rule
Slaughter gory
Makes our story
That's no glory
 
81. Universal Soldier (by Buffy Sainte - Marie)
He's fighting for Canada, he's fighting for France
He's fighting for the USA
And he's fighting for the Russians, and he's fighting for Japan
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way
He's fighting for democracy, he's fighting for the reds
He says it's for the peace of us all
He's the one who must decide who is to live or is to die
And he never sees the writing on the wall
But without him how could Hitler have condemned
them at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He's the one who gives his body as a weapon of the war
And without him all this killing can't go on
 
82. The Peat-Bog Soldiers
Far and wide as the eye can wander
Heath and bog are everywhere
Not a bird sings out to cheer us
Oaks are standing gaunt and bare
[Chorus]
We are the peat-bog soldiers
We're marching with our spades
To the moor
Up and down the guards are pacing
No one, no one, can go through
Flight would mean a sure death facing
Guns and barbed wire greet our view
[Chorus ]

But for us there's no complaining
Winter will in time be past
One day we shall cry rejoicing
Homeland dear, you're mine at last
Then will the peat-bog soldiers
March no more with their spades
To the moor
 

83. The Gresford Disaster (of 22 September 1934)
You've heard of the Gresford disaster
And the terrible price that was paid
Two hundred and forty two colliers were lost
And three men of the rescue brigade
It occurred in the month of September
At two in the morning, that pit
Was racked by a violent explosion
In the Dennys where gas laid so thick
The gas in the Dennys deep section
Was packed there like snow in a drift
And many a man had to leave the coal face
Before he had worked out his shift
A fortnight before the explosion
To the shot-firer Tomlinson cried
If you fire that shot we'll be all blown to hell
And nobody can say that he lied
The fireman's reports they are missing
The records of forty two days
The collier manager's had them destroyed
To cover his criminal ways
Down there in the dark they are lying

They died for nine shillings a day
They've worked out their shift and its there they must lie
In the darkness until Judgment Day
The Lord Mayor of London's collecting
To help both the children and wives
The owners have sent some white lilies
To pay for the poor colliers lives
Farewell our dear wives and our children
Farewell our dear comrades as well
Don't send your son in the dark dreary mine
He'll be damned like the sinners in Hell
 
 
84. The Blackleg Miners
(Seaton Deloval pit in Northumberland)
Oh early in the evening just after dark
The blackleg miners creep out and go to work
With their moleskin trews and dirty old shirt
Go the dirty blackleg miners
Oh Deloval is a terrible place
They rub wet clay in the blackleg's face
And round the pit-heaps run a foot-race
With the dirty blackleg miners
Oh don't go near the Seghill mine
For across the mainway they hang a line
To catch the throat and break the spine  
Of the dirty blackleg miner
They'll take your tools and duds as well
And throw them down the pit of hell
Its down you go and fare you well
You dirty blackleg miners
 
 
85. Way Down in the Mine
Come all ye young workers so young and so fine
And seek not your fortune way down in the mine
For it'll form as a habit and seep in your soul
Till the stream of your blood runs as black as the coal
[Chorus]
For its dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew
Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
Its dark as a dungeon way down in the mines
Its many a man who I've known in my day
Has lived just to labour his whole life away
Like a fiend with his dope or a drunk with his wine
A man will have lust for the lure of the mine
[Chorus]
I hope when I die and the ages shall roll
My body will blacken and turn into coal
As I look from the door of my heavenly home
I'll pity the miner a knewing my bones
 
86. The Coal-Owner and the Pitman's Wife (Believed to date from the Durham strike of 1844)

A dialogue I'll tell you as true as my life
Between the coal-owner and a poor pitman's wife
As she was travelling all on the highway
She met a coal-owner and this she did say

[Chorus]
Derry down down down derry down

Good-Morning Lord Fire Damp, this woman she said

I'll do you no harm sir, so don't be afraid
If you'd been where I'd been the most of me life
You wouldn't turn pale at a poor pitman's wife
[Chorus]
Then where do you come from, the owner he cries
I come from hell, the poor woman replies
If you have come from hell then, come tell me plain
Have you contrived to get out again
[Chorus]
By the way I got out the truth I should tell
They're turning the poor folks all out of hell
This to make room for the rich wicked race
For there is a great number of them in that place
[Chorus]
And the coal-owners are the next on command
To arrive in hell as I understand
For I heard the old devil say as I come out
The coal-owners all had receiveth their out
[Chorus]
Then how does the devil behave in that place
Oh sir, he is cruel to the rich wicked race
He's far more crueller that you can suppose
Even like a mad bull with a ring thro' his nose
[Chorus]
Good woman, say he, I must bid you farewell
You give me a dismal account about hell
If this be all true that you say unto me
I'll be home like a whippet with my poor men agree
[Chorus]
If you be a coal-owner, sir take my advice
Agree with your men and give them full price
For if you do not and know very well
You'll be in great danger of going to hell!
 
87. We Won't Forget (Comrades for Life) (by Paul Mackney 1985) (with guitar chords)

Am FAm
We'll always remember the year of the strike
Dm Am
And the fifth day of March eighty five
Gm C Am
They can say that we lost, they can say what they like
Dm F E
But we had the time of our lives
F Am F Am
And we've no regrets, we've no regrets
Dm Am
The flame continues to burn
F Am F Am
And we won't forget, we won't forget
Dm E Am
United we will return
We all fought together, women and men
To stop them closing down the mines
If we had our time over we'd do it again
And be quite sure we'd be ready next time
The congress house traitors had promised for years
Their support would be second to none
You could hear their hearts bleed, you got drowned in their tears
But precisely nothing was done
We marched in the streets till we blistered our feet
We withstood the full force of the law
The miners united, they'll never defeat
We sang till our voices were raw
With their truncheons and horses they opened our eyes
You hold on to what you can defend
Comrades in struggle are comrades for life
And stand solid and true to the end
The smug commentators can peddle their lies
We're proud that we formed picket lines
We'll build the resistance and we'll organise
And we'll have the bastards next time

And we've no regrets, we've no regrets
The flame continues to burn
And we won't forget, we won't forget
United we will return
 
88. Miners` Strike 1984 (by J. R. Jump)(George Jackson, a Cowdenbeath miner, was killed outside Corbera, Spain,in August 1938, whilst serving in the International Brigades.)

I was close behind you, Geordie
when a fascist bullet ended your short life
a life blackened and scarred at the coal-face
From that moment, Cowdenbeath and Corbera were twinned towns
Scotland and Spain were linked by ties of blood
the blood, rich and red
that you shedhigh on a parched mountain
If you were alive today, Geordie
I know where you would befor you were always a front-line fighter
Not for you the snug safety of the rear
not for you the hanging back when others went forward
not for you the hesitation, the doubt that breeds fear
Maybe I would have seen you on TV
in the front line of fire
being clubbed by a mounted policeman
or dragged, arms twisted, to the black maria
Maybe I would have seen you lying dead
not outside Corbera where you were hit
by a fascist bulletbut outside a strike-shut pit
Today, Geordie, your comrades are fighting freedom's battle over again carrying on the fight we fought in Spain