Protest Song Lyrics (logo)
Protest Song Lyrics Song lyrics categories Social Justice songs by Year Top 10 songs Musical Links About Protest Songs website

Give Bread to the Poor, song lyrics

Song: Give Bread to the Poor
Lyrics: James C. Dillon(1)(2)

Music: A.W. Young(1)(3)
Year: 1878(1)
Country: USA

I've an object in view that I'd like to unfold,
About our great city that revel's in gold,
And the pride of our nation well test before
Are those Hero's that strove to provide for the poor;
In this panic(4) of late tho' tis hard for to state
the thoughts of starvation and sad was the fate,
Of the poor working man who had nothing in store,
'Till a cry came from heaven give Bread to the Poor.
This song was originally posted on
Now there's A. T. Stewart(5) the great millionaire,
Who some time ago sought another worlds care,
Would it hurt his kind heart to have thrown out a dime,
To save some poor sufferers from prison and crime,
He invested I'm told in his great institute
A matter of business you bet he was cute,
He was not like Jim Fiske(6), nor will be many more
With his lightening Express giving Bread to the Poor.

There's another kind heart though he had been misused,
In South Carolina where all was confused,
He kept down the riot(7), gave office for peace
While others in luxury sat at their ease,
In the town of Columbia which all you know,
The suffering was great and this goes to show,
With his shirt sleeves rolled up like old Jackson at war,
Stood Governor Wade Hampton(8) giving Bread to the Poor.
This song was originally posted on
With your kind attention of one I will tell,
A kind hearted man whom misfortune befell;
He was tried before Judges and Jury you know,
And sentenced to Sing Sing from the Jail of Ludlow,
He was noble and kind to the poor when in need,
I mean that great man called William M. Tweed(9),
And I hope that in Heaven he will rest evermore,
Though he robbed from the city he gave to the Poor.


1 - Transcribed from the sheet music published by Carl Fischer, 366 Bowery, New York, NY, USA.

2 - James C. Dillon: sorry we have no biographical information on him. If you do please let us know. Thank you.

3 - A.W. Young: sorry we have no biographical information on them. If you do please let us know. Thank you.

4 - The Long Depression (1873-1878), history.

5 - Alexander Turney Stewart (1803 - 1876)

6 - James Fisk (1835 - 1872). After The Great Chicago Fire of October 8 to 10, 1871, Jim Fisk loaded up a "Lightning Express" train with supplies for the people of Chicago left homeless by the fire.

7 - South Carolina civil disturbances of 1876, including a number of race riots when the Democratic Party in attempting to get political control back disrupted or attacked Republican Party events and suppressed black voters.

8 - South Carolina Governor Wade Hampton (1818 - 1902)

9 - William Magear Tweed (1823 - 1878), also known as "Boss Tweed"