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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Bennet Zurofsky Origins: Union Miners / Miner's Lifeguard (50) Lyr Add: WE WERE THERE (Bev Grant) 05 Sep 02

For Jude -

For an apt labor song that doesn't assume you are a miner or a man you might also like Bev Grant's anthem "We Were There" (which we also included on our CD). Here are the lyrics (it has its own melody composed by Bev):

WE WERE THERE Tune: Bev Grant
Lyrics: Bev Grant
© 1997 Beverly Grant (ASCAP)

This was written on International Women's Day 1997. We learned it from the singing of the Righteous Sisters, a women's chorus from Montclair, New Jersey, that used to be directed by Bev Grant, the composer.

We have plowed and we have planted. we have gathered into barns.
Done the same work as the men with babies in our arms.
But you won't find our stories in most history books you read.
We were there and we're still here, fighting for the things we need.

CHORUS: We were there in the factories. We were there in the mills.
We were there in the mines and came home to fix the meals.
We were there on the picket lines. We raised our voices loud.
It makes me proud just knowing we were there.

From the textile mills in Lawrence to the sweat shops in New York,
From the fields in California where our children had to work,
We fought to make a living. Bread and roses was our cry.
Though they jailed and beat our bodies, our spirit never died. CHORUS

We were Polish. We were Irish. We were African and Jew,
Italian and Latina, Chinese and Russian, too.
They tried to use our differences to split us all apart,
But the pain we felt together touched the bottom of our hearts. CHORUS

We are teachers. We are doctors. We are cooks and engineers,
Letter carriers, truck drivers, conductors, and cashiers.
We operate machinery. We fly the big airplanes.
And we help to build our unions. We got struggle in our veins. CHORUS

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