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John Golden and the Lawrence Strike, song lyrics

Song: John Golden and the Lawrence Strike
Lyrics: Joe Hill(1)

Music: to the tune of "A Little Talk with Jesus"
Year: c.1912
Genre: Traditional
Country: USA

In Lawrence, when the starving masses struck for more to eat
And wooden-headed Wood he tried the strikers to defeat,
To Sammy Gompers wrote and asked him what he thought,
And this is just the answer that the mailman brought:

A little talk with Golden
Makes it right, all right;
He'll settle any strike,
If there's coin in sight;
Just take him up to dine
And everything is fine-
A little talk with Golden
Makes it right, all right.
This song was originally posted on
The preachers, cops and money-kings were working hand in hand,
The boys in blue, with stars and stripes were sent by Uncle Sam;
Still things were looking blue, 'cause every striker knew
That weaving cloth with bayonets is hard to do.


John Golden had with Mr. Wood a private interview,
He told him how to bust up the "I double double U."
He came out in a while and wore the Golden smile.
He said: "I've got all labor leaders skinned a mile."


John Golden pulled a bogus strike with all his "pinks and stools."
He thought the rest would follow like a bunch of crazy fools.
But to his great surprise the "foreigners" were wise,
In one big solid union they were organized.

That's one time Golden did not
Make it right, all right;
In Spite of his schemes
The strikers won the fight.
When all the workers stand
United hand in hand,
The world with all its wealth
Will be at their command.


1 - More information on the life and death of Joe Hill, from Wikipedia

2 - The 1912 Lawrence textile strike, from and Lawrence Strike of 1912 from the Women Working, 1800-1930 collection, Harvard University Library.

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