Thursday, September 21, 2006

Take it easy - but take it

Now, if you want higher wages let me tell you what to do
You got to talk to the workers in the shop with you.
You got to build you a union, got to make it strong,
But if you all stick together, now, it won't be long.
You get shorter hours, better working conditions,
Vacations with pay. Take your kids to the seashore.

It ain't quite this simple, so I better explain
Just why you got to ride on the union train.
'Cause if you wait for the boss to raise your pay,
We'll all be a-waitin' 'til Judgment Day.
We'll all be buried, gone to heaven,
St. Peter'll be the straw boss then.

Now you know you're underpaid but the bosses say you ain't;
And speeds up the work 'til you're 'bout to faint.
You may be down and out, but you ain't beaten,
You can pass out a leaflet and call a meetin'.
Talk it over, speak your mind,
Decide to do somethin' about it.

Course, the bosses may persuade some poor damn fool
To go to your meetin' and act like a stool.
But you can always tell stools, though, that's a fact,
They've got yaller streaks a-runnin' down their back.
They doesn't have to stool, they'll always get along
On what they take out of blind people's cups.

You got a union now, and you're sittin' pretty,
Put some of the folks on the steering committee.
The bosses won't listen when one person squawks,
But they've got to listen when the union talks.
they'd better, be mighty lonely
Everybody decide to walk out on them.

Suppose they're working you so hard it's just outrageous
And they're paying you all starvation wages.
You go to the bosses and the bosses will yell,
"Before I raise your pay I'd see you all in hell."
Well, they're puffing big seegars, feeling mighty slick
'Cause they thinks they've got your union licked.
Well, they looks out the window and what does they see
But a thousand pickets, and they all agree:
they're bastards, unfair, slavedrivers

Now you've come to the hardest time.
The boss will try to bust your picket line.
They'll call out the police, the National Guard,
They'll tell you it's a crime to have a union card.
They'll raid your meetin', they'll hit you on the head,
They'll call every one of you a goddam red

But out at Ford, here's what they found,
And out at UPS, here's what they found,
And out at Stagecoach, here's what they found,
And down at Progressive, here's what they found:
That if you don't let the red-baiting break you up,
And if you don't let the racism,
And if you don't let the sexism break you up,
And if you don't let homophobia break you up,
And if you don't let red-baiting break you up,

You'll win.

What I mean, take it easy, but take it!

(More later)


  1. Anonymous4:49 pm

    Great post! :)

  2. Anonymous5:28 pm


    To add to your own burst of creativity, from the pen of Woody Guthrie:

    I guess i planted some long lonesome
    Seed of a song
    Way down inside me long ago
    And now i can't remember when it was
    But it joined up with the rest of them and grows
    It's such a little song it don't compare
    With all your big ones you hear everywhere
    But when it dawns way in the back of your mind
    The big ones are made up of the little kind

    Union song. union battled.
    All added up. won us what we got now

    I can't even start to look around me here
    Without hearing this song
    And seeing all of us first separated,
    Hurt, apart and afraid
    And hungry for the union
    And so we kept on
    Singing and working, fighting till we got it.
    And this is the big union song i guess i hear.

    We fought there at your place
    We fought there on your ship
    And i guess if you missed out on
    The fight for our union,
    You missed out on one awful big step
    Us people took.

  3. Anonymous7:29 pm

    you need some up market slogans, marx is dead,

  4. Anonymous4:43 pm

    Who wrote that song? Was it Woody Guthrie? Pete Seeger? I can't place it!