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It's a Long Way Down to the Soupline, song lyrics

Song: It's a Long Way Down to the Soupline
Lyrics: Joe Hill(1)

Music: to the tune of "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary"
Year: c.1915
Country: USA

Bill Brown was just a working man Iike others of his kind.
He lost his job and tramped the streets when work was hard to find.
The landlord put him on the stem, the bankers kept his dough,
And Bill heard everybody sing, no matter where he'd go:

It's a long way down to the soupline, it's a long way to go.
It's a long way down to the soupline, and the soup is thin I know.
Good bye, good old pork chops, farewell beefsteak rare;
It's a long way down to the soupline, but my soup is there.

So Bill and sixteen million men responded to the call
To force the hours of labor down and thus make jobs for all.
They picketed the industries and won the four-hour day
And organized a General Strike so men don't have to say:
This song was originally posted on

The workers own the factories now, where jobs were once destroyed
By big machines that filled the world with hungry unemployed.
They all own homes, they're living well, they're happy, free and strong,
But millionaires wear overalls and sing this little song:



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

2 - There is the history of this song in the book Joe Hill, by Gibbs M. Smith, p.30-31, ISBN-13: 978-0879051549. The song was originally written for the San Francisco Fair, but spread to New York City, where it was adapted by Charles Ashleigh.

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