For Labor Day: Big Bill Haywood Would Kick Your Ass:
Lyrics from the 1923 edition of The Little Red Songbook of the Industrial Workers of the World that seem fairly apropos on this post-Crandall Canyon mine, mid-illegal immigrant worker uproar Labor Day:
"We Have Fed You All For a Thousand Years"
From a poem by an unknown author
Music by Rudolph von Liebich
We have fed you all, for a thousand years
And you hail us still unfed,
Though there's never a dollar of all your wealth
But marks the worker's dead.
We have yielded our best to give you rest
And you lie on crimson wool.
Then if blood be the price of all your wealth,
Good God! We have paid it in full.
There is never a mine blown skyward now
But we're buried alive for you.
There's never a wreck drifts shoreward now
But we are its ghastly crew.
Go reckon our dead by the forges red
And the factories where we spin.
If blood be the price of your cursed wealth
Good God! We have paid it in.
We have fed you all for a thousand years--
For that was our doom, you know,
From the days when you chained us in your fields
To the strike of a week ago.
You have taken our lives, and our babies and wives,
And we're told it's your legal share;
But if blood be the price of your lawful wealth
Good God! We have bought it fair.
Yes, the Wobblies could go down Hyperbole Road with the best of 'em. Yet let's instead remember a time when labor issues actually drove large numbers of people to such passionate outpourings. Big Bill Haywood, the IWW leader and the toughest bastard ever to lead a strike, is beating on his casket to get out and kick some ass, showing America how the success of middle class white collar stock portfolios is a helluva lot less important than whether the kids of a woman, illegal immigrant or American, working three jobs are getting enough to eat.