Labor Day 2007 – Which side are you on?

(hat/tip to Celeste Monforton, The Pump Handle, for the heads up on this incredible song)



Come all of you good workers
Good news to you I’ll tell
Of how that good old union
Has come in here to dwell

My daddy was a miner
And I’m a miner’s son
And I’ll stick with the union
Till every battle’s won

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there
You’ll either be a union man
Or a thug for J.H. Blair

Oh, workers can you stand it?
Oh, tell me how you can
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

Don’t scab for the bosses
Don’t listen to their lies
Us poor folks haven’t got a chance
Unless we organize

Florence Reece*

In 1931, coal miners in Harlan County were on strike. Armed company deputies roamed the countryside, terrorizing the mining communities, looking for union leaders to beat, jail, or kill. But coal miners, brought up lean and hard in the Kentucky mountain country, knew how to fight back, and heads were bashed and bullets fired on both sides in Bloody Harlan. It was this kind of class war — the mine owners and their hired deputies on one side, and the independent, free-wheeling Kentucky coal-miners on the other — that provided the climate for Florence Reece’s “Which Side Are You On?” In it she captured the spirit of her times with blunt eloquence.”


3 Responses

  1. I just noticed you have NW ID in your sidebar. Where are you? I have friends in the McCall/Donnelly area.

  2. Boise…..I guess it’s more south than McCall-Donnelly.

    Or – in this case…from here to Horseshoe Bend on the WAY to McCall/Donnelly, is how far Bush is from Baghdad in his “surprise visit” to Iraq. And, what’s the significance of Labor Day to do it?

    Oh, but the NW is supposed to indicate the Northwest portion of the country. I just remember why I did that. Basically, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Montana if I feel like it at the time.

  3. McCall and the Cascade country are north out of Boise. We always went up from Nevada, so we skirted Boise by quite a ways and I’ve never been there.

    You got guts. What with all the retired cops, christian militias (Kill a Librul fer Jesus!), and the white supremacist outfits, ID’s a liitle too Red for me.

    Best hunting and fishing going, though.

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