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Eight Hour Strike, song lyrics

Song: Eight Hour Strike
Lyrics: Billy Pastor(1)

Music: Billy Pastor(1)
Year: 1872(1)
Country: USA

The topic just now from each person you meet,
The subject you hear all around in the street,
The excitement you see, As you travel about,
The workmen, in number who daily turn out;
All show very plain a sensation's on hand,
And men by their rights are determined to stand,
The wealthy and proud, they may talk as they like,
But they'll have to give in to the Eight hour strike.
This song was originally posted on
As long as the Workingmen demand what is right,
and nothing but what is right,
they are bound to succeed,
because they are simply...

striking for the right boys,
Striking for the right,
Then close the ranks of labor up,
And show the world your might,
Striking for the right boys,
Striking for the right,
Eight hours a day and decent pay,
It is for that they fight.

For Eight hours a day, their banners unfurl'd,
A guide to the toilers all over the world,
The beacon that shows to the children of toil,
The workmans no slave on American soil;
There's a manhood in labor no tyrant can crush,
And so for their rights they go in a rush,
And ciapital ne'er such a victory saw,
As the workmen will win in the Eight hour law.


One question I'd ask of the haughty and grand,
That's who are the men who develop our land?
Who made the great nation Columbia now?
But the men from the workshop, the anvil and plough,
The railroads that spread thro' the east and the west,
Our Clippers and Steamers, the staunches and best,
And factories finer the world never saw,
Built by those who strike for the Eight hour law.


When our nations was trod beneath tyranny's heel,
The strength of our workmen the foemen did feel,
With liberty's fire then each bosom it burned
Our freedom retored to their homes they return'd;
Should treason our flag ever threaten again,
Or invaders or foemen from over the main,
To rush to battle, the first would be then,
The Eight hour strikers, our brave workingmen.
This song was originally posted on
The bravery of our American Workingmen, has
been proven upon many a battle field, where they have
nobly struck for the right, and thats the same as
they are doing now.



1 - Published in 1872, by E. H. Harding, 288 Bowery, New York.

2 - Before the score, the sheet music reads, "To John Roach Esq. of New York."

3 - For more on the 8-hour working day, see How the weekend was won, from PBS, the Eight-Hour Movement, from the Encyclopedia of Chicago, and the Hours of labour from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.