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I Hate The Company Bosses, song lyrics

Song: I Hate The Company Bosses(1)
Lyrics: Sarah Ogan Gunning(2)

Music: Sarah Ogan Gunning(2)
Year: circa 1938(3)
Genre: A Cappella Folk
Country: USA

I hate the company bosses,
I'll tell you the reason why,
They cause me so much suffering,
And my dearest friends to die.

Oh yes, I guess you wonder,
What they have done to me,
I'm going to tell you, mister, My husband had T.B.(4)

Brought on by hard work and low wages
And not enough to eat,
Going naked and hungry,
No shoes on his feet.

I guess you'll say he's lazy
And did not want to work.
But I must say you're crazy,
For work he did not shirk.

My husband was a coal miner,
He worked and risked his life
To try to support three children,
Himself, his mother, and wife.
This song was originally posted on
I had a blue-eyed baby,
The darling of my heart,
But from my little darling
Her mother had to part.

These mighty company bosses,
They dress in jewels and silk,
But my darling blue-eyed baby,
She starved to death for milk.

I had a darling mother,
For her I often cry,
But with them rotten conditions
My mother had to die.

Well, what killed your mother?
I heard these bosses say.
Dead of hard work and starvation,
My mother had to pay.
This song was originally posted on
Well, what killed your mother?
Oh tell us, if you please.
Excuse me, it was Pellagra(5),
That starvation disease.

They call this the land of plenty,
To them I guess it's true.
But that' s to the company bosses,
Not workers like me and you.

Well, what can I do about it,
To these men of power and might?
I tell you, company bosses,
I'm going to fight, fight, fight.

What can we do about it.
To right this dreadful wrong?
We're all going to join the union,
For the union makes us strong.


1 - This song was originally called "I Hate the Capitalist System".

2 - Sarah Ogan Gunning (1910 - 1983), in the Encyclopedia of Appalachia, University of Tennessee Press, and Sarah Ogan Gunning, by Archie Green on

3 - The liner notes for the 1965 and 1967 albums Sarah Ogan Gunning - A Girl of Contstant Sorrow, state that about 1938 Moe Asch first heard her sing this song.

4 - "TB" is Tuberculosis symptoms from WebMD

5 - Pellagra is Vitamin B3 (Niacin) deficency. Link is to WebMD.