Friday, August 07, 2009

Song for the Week, "Which Side Are You On? , Song About Struggle....( click Title to read more).


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The Story about The Song:
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? - ROCK THE VOTE 2008 - Florence Reece - Natalie Merchant. Just some of the "Words That Changed America".This Union Song was written by Florence Reece in 1930 - 1931 while mine owners were terrorizing coal workers in bloody Harlan County. Natlie Merchant - From - The House Carpenter's Daughter - Released in 2003. This song was written by Florence Reece in the 1930's when big business and big money were terrorizing the working man. Florence Reece introduced it to the UMW (United Mine Workers) in the 1930's in protest.Natlie Merchant later covered it in her Album - "The House Carpenter's Daughter".Still today the Middle Class struggles to survive while Politicians conveniently remain "Out of Touch" with working America while Big Money and Big Business working in concert; Work to the demise of Middle Class America, sometimes by default and others by design.

12 comments:

tom said...

Or, the always popular
You don't get me I'm part of the union
You don't get me I'm part of the Union
You don't get me I'm part of the union TILL THE DAY I DIE, TILL THE DAY I DIE

Union music,union histories sadly less a part of our mainstream than it should be.....
Keep hammering them GAL

enigma4ever said...

About the Aong and the Lyrics:::

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? - ROCK THE VOTE 2008 - Florence Reece - Natalie Merchant. Just some of the "Words That Changed America".

This Union Song was written by Florence Reece in 1930 - 1931 while mine owners were terrorizing coal workers in bloody Harlan County. Natlie Merchant - From - The House Carpenter's Daughter - Released in 2003.


This song was written by Florence Reece in the 1930's when big business and big money were terrorizing the working man.

Florence Reece introduced it to the UMW (United Mine Workers) in the 1930's in protest.

Natlie Merchant later covered it in her Album - "The House Carpenter's Daughter".

Still today the Middle Class struggles to survive while Politicians conveniently remain "Out of Touch" with working America while Big Money and Big Business working in concert; Work to the demise of Middle Class America, sometimes by default and others by design.

Which Side Are You On?
Florence Reece
Natalie Merchant

Which Side Are You On?

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

Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

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

Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

enigma4ever said...

Ahh Tom..
our Mining History and Union History is where the real People's Movements and roots come from...


and me..I got some interesting roots..it is in my blood..esp Appapalacia and Kentucky side of my roots...coal miners and railroad workers....and more...

enigma4ever said...

More History of Florence Reese who wrote the song:::
Florence Reese (April 12, 1900 – August 3, 1986) was an American social activist, poet, and folksong writer. Born in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee the daughter and wife of coal miners, she is best known for the song, "Which Side Are You On?" written in 1931 during a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in which her husband, Sam Reece, was an organizer.
Pete Seeger, collecting labor union songs, learned "Which Side Are You On" in 1940. The following year, it was recorded by the Almanac Singers in a version that gained a wide audience. More recently, Billy Bragg, Dropkick Murphys, and Natalie Merchant each recorded their own interpretations of the song.
Florence Reese appeared in the Academy Award-winning documentary film, Harlan County, USA, singing her anthem to rally the striking miners.
Florence and Sam Reese were married for 64 years, until his death from pneumoconiosis (black lung) in 1978. After a lifetime of speaking out on behalf of unions and social welfare issues, Florence Reese died of a heart attack in 1986 at the age of 86 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

enigma4ever said...

More about the History of the Song::::
"Which Side Are You On?" was a song written by Florence Reece in 1931. She was the wife of a union organizer for the United Mine Workers in Harlan County, Kentucky. In 1931 the miners of that region were locked in a bitter and violent struggle with the mine owners. In an attempt to intimidate the Reece family, deputies hired by the mining company illegally entered and searched the Reece family home. Sam Reece had been warned in advance and escaped, but Florence and their children were terrorized in his place. That night, after the men had gone, Florence wrote the lyrics to "Which Side Are You On?" on a calendar that hung in the kitchen of her home. She took the melody from a traditional Baptist hymn, "Lay the Lily Low", or the traditional ballad "Jack Munro". Florence recorded the song and it can be heard on the CD Coal Mining Women.

tom said...

Your people and my people and the Molly McGuires

Fran said...

Wow! Nice little historical sepia toned footage to a powerful song.
Coworkers & I were lamenting today (as the paychecks were issued).... how after 4 YEARS working there we still make such a shitty wage-- in fact we are experiencing a pay freeze.....
but they send out memos touting the other things they are buying & investing in.
They even had the damned nerve to host a kind of *welfare* extravaganza-- tables set up with different social services and their offerings.
There we stood in the $60 million dollar building, working for a company that is spending billions on new acquisitions-- looking at welfare options- childcare & rent subsidies, low income housing.
WTF???

So as much as I appreciate social services, there is no reason for the company to pay so low while they are so wealthy & promote welfare is obscene and absurd. I found it depressing & offensive. It was meant to be their way of showing they cared.
If they really cared, workers would make a decent wage & not have to qualify for welfare.

At one point I think the State of Massachusetts
realized how much Wal Mart employees were tapping out social services and State medical resources & billed Wal Mart.
Good for them. Companies raking in big profits should not be allowed to exploit social services like that. Wal Mart was doing a similar thing- passing out welfare paperwork as if that is a part of their program.

I often wonder what things would be like if we had a union.

the walking man said...

Hey I wrote a nice little post this morning. You may appreciate it.

enigma4ever said...

Hey all..
I will be making rounds today....my access and internet has been stuttery today...and I can not get in my email at all...

urgh....

Anyways....

thanks all..

lixue said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

http://disturbialyrics.net

enigma4ever said...

Thank you Lixue,
and you are welcome....come and read any time...this battle for healthcare is my main focus right now- but I blog it all....

lixue said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

http://disturbialyrics.net