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Lyr Req: There Is Power in a Union (Billy Bragg)

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Lyr Req Power in a Union (Billy Bragg) (4)


GUEST,Big Al Whittle 08 Sep 13 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 08 Sep 13 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 09 Sep 13 - 04:14 AM
Joe Offer 18 Sep 13 - 03:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Sep 13 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,henryp 19 Sep 13 - 05:26 AM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 13 - 01:03 PM
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Subject: Lyric req. Billy Bragg The Union Forever
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 02:42 PM

I have been asked to sing at the wake of lifelong trade union activist. I seem to remember Billy Bragg singing a trade union version of the union forever! hurrah boys hurrah! I'd love to sing this song on this occasion.
Can anyone give me the full lyrics - I thought it might be appropriate and fun to sing.


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Subject: ADD: There Is Power in a Union (Woody Guthrie)
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 05:57 PM

THERE IS POWER IN A UNION
(Woody Guthrie[???], as recorded by Billy Bragg)

There is power in a factory, power in the land
Power in the hands of a worker
But it all amounts to nothing if together we don't stand
There is power in a Union

Now the lessons of the past were all learned with workers' blood
The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for
From the cities and the farmlands to trenches full of mud
War has always been the bosses' way, sir

CHORUS
The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and our sisters from many far off lands
There is power in a Union

Now I long for the morning that they realise
Brutality and unjust laws can not defeat us
But who'll defend the workers who cannot organise
When the bosses send their lackies out to cheat us?

Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone
What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child
There is power in a Union

CHORUS
The Union forever defending our rights
Down with the blackleg, all workers unite
With our brothers and our sisters together we will stand
There is power in a Union.

YouTube Video (from Billy Bragg's Talking With the Taxman About Poetry, 1986)


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Subject: RE: Lyric req. Billy Bragg The Union Forever
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Sep 13 - 04:14 AM

Many thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyric req. Billy Bragg The Union Forever
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Sep 13 - 03:41 PM

I'm wondering about authorship of this song. Several sources say it was written by Woody Guthrie, but I couldn't find it listed at woodyguthrie.org, the official Woody Guthrie Website operated by his family. The song is clearly based on the 1863 George Root song, Battle Cry of Freedom. Joe Hill wrote a song called There Is Power In a Union in 1913, but it's a different song. So, what about this song? Did Woody write it?

My kids introduced me to Billy Bragg with Talking With the Taxman About Poetry, and I've always liked the album - but the kids ended up with the CD.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyric req. Billy Bragg The Union Forever
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Sep 13 - 09:09 PM

The record says "traditional arranged Billy Bragg" but I've never come across it elsewhere, and I wouldn't be surprised if the "arrangement" involved taking the title of Joe Hill's song, and the structure and tune of George Roots', and writing a fresh song out of it.

Of course we don't have too many factories these days, so the first verse is a bit anachronistic. But the message is still totally relevant.

I imagine they'd chuck you out of the hall damn quick if you tried to sing it in a Labour conference.


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Subject: RE: Lyric req. Billy Bragg The Union Forever
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 19 Sep 13 - 05:26 AM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;

"There Is Power In A Union" is a song written by Joe Hill in 1913. The song is sung to the tune of "There Is Power In The Blood (Of The Lamb)".

"There Is Power In A Union" was first published in the Little Red Songbook in 1913. Joe Hill wrote the song based upon the song "Battle Cry of Freedom" with a socialist slant.

Would you have freedom from Wage slavery,
Then join in the grand Industrial band;
Would you from mis'ry and hunger be free,
Then come, do your share, like a man.
(Chorus)
There is pow'r there is pow'r in a band of workingmen,
When they stand hand in hand,
That's a pow'r, that's a pow'r That must rule in every land?
One Industrial Union Grand.


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Subject: RE: Lyric req. Billy Bragg The Union Forever
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 13 - 01:03 PM

Henry, as it says in the Wikipedia article you cited, the Joe Hill song is based on the gospel hymn, "There Is Power In The Blood (Of The Lamb)" - NOT "Battle Cry of Freedom." The only thing it has in common with the Billy Bragg song, is a title.

-Joe Offer-


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