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Lyr Add: Soup Song (Maurice Sugar)

Joe Offer 21 Jan 17 - 08:30 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jan 17 - 08:43 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Soup Song (Maurice Sugar)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 17 - 08:30 PM

Hmmm. I didn't find this one posted here. Another song so appropriate for Trump's Inauguration weekend, although Trump would probably object to the wasting of good soup on "freeloaders."

(Maurice Sugar)

I'm spending my nights at the flophouse,
I'm spending my days on the street,
I'm looking for work, but I find none,
I wish I had something to eat.

Soup, soup, they give me a bowl of soup;
Soup, soup, they give me a bowl of soup.

I spent twenty years in the factory,
I did ev'rything I was told,
They said I was loyal and faithful,
Now, even before I get old....

I saved fifteen bucks with my banker
To buy me a car and a yacht;
I went down to draw out my fortune,
And this is the answer I got:

I fought in the war for my country,
I went out to bleed and to die;
I thought that my country would help me,
But this was my country's reply:

I went on my knees to my Maker,
I prayed ev'ry night to the Lord;
I vowed I'd be meek and submissive,
And now I've received my reward:

Tune: My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

Source: Sing Out! Magazine, Vol 23, No 3 (1974), page 19.

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Subject: Obit: Maurice Sugar (1891-1974)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jan 17 - 08:43 PM

Maurice Sugar, the labor lawyer who wrote the most widely-sung labor songs of the 'thirties, was born in Brimley, Michigan on August 8, 1891, the son of emigrant parents. He grew up in Detroit and went to school at the University of Michigan, where he studied law and Marxism, and met and married Jane Mayer, his wife of 60 years. From 1914 until the formation of the CIO in 1935, he represented practically every industrial union in Detroit, and began to write songs that would be on the lips of thousands of workingimen throughout the United States.
In 1917, Maurice refused to serve in World War I — he considered it a capitalist war fought at the expense of the lives of thousands of workers — and spent a year in prison. He was disbarred for a while, and during this time he and Jane started tenting each summer on the shores of Black Lake in upper Michigan, a piece of land they were later able to acquire by homesteading.
During the Depression, Maurice represented unemployed councils and farm mortgage foreclosure resisters. He was a prime target of the Black Legion, and helped expose their attempts to destroy organization efforts of the working people through terror and murder. During these years he conducted numerous court battles on behalf of black working people who were falsely charged with serious crimes or who had escaped from southern chain gang prisons. From this experience came "Song for Scottsboro Boys" and other songs. He was among the few lawyers in Michigan who fought to protect the foreign-born from discrimination and deportation.
When the sit-downs commenced in 1935, he represented the workers and their union in the great struggles which culminated in the organization of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford, and he hammered out legal concepts in support of their legal right to strike, picket and even to take physical control of their factories. He wrote a large number of labor songs which were printed in worker's songbooks and sung at meetings, strikes and demonstrations throughout the country. The most popular was "The Soup Song," reprinted here. Others included: "Sit-Down,""We Are the Guys,""I Belong to the Company Union,""You Can't Make a Living,""Be a Man," and "Old Hank Ford."
Maurice became General Counsel of the UAW-CIO in 1939. He represented the union during the ensuing period of organization and consolidation, until he was discharged in 1947 when Walter Reuther was elected its president. In 1948 he spent almost a year in New York City as advisor to the lawyers who represented the leaders of the Communist Party in the Foley Square Smith Act Case.
He retired from active practice in 1950 and lived until his death on February 15, 1974 with Jane at their home at Black Lake in the midst of the forests, streams and lakes they loved so much.
(Maurice Sugar never stopped writing songs. In 1971, Sing Out! printed his song about Nixonomics, "Fighting Inflation," which seems, if anything, even more relevant today.)

Source: Sing Out! Magazine, Vol 23, No 3 (1974), page 19.

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Mudcat time: 17 October 10:29 PM EDT

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