Friday, 3 December 2010

WE HAVE FED YOU ALL FOR A THOUSAND YEARS!

Author: Unknown
[A song of the Industrial Workers of the World]

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 workers' 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 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 bought it fair!

[Note: This song, patterned by an unnknown writer
after verses by Rudyard Kipling — about the British
Navy — was printed at the beginning of the last
centuary in both the Bulletin of the IWW,
and in the Chicago-based journal,
The International Socialist Review]

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