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The Preacher and the Slave, song lyrics

Song: The Preacher and the Slave(1) (3)
Lyrics: Joe Hill (1) (3)

Music: to the tune of "Sweet Bye and Bye"
Year: c.1911
Country: USA

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.

And the starvation army they play,
And they sing and they clap and they pray,
Till they get all your coin on the drum,
Then they tell you when you're on the bum:
This song was originally posted on
Holy Rollers and Jumpers come out,
And they holler, they jump and they shout
"Give your money to Jesus," they say,
"He will cure all diseases today."


If you fight hard for children and wife,
Try to get something good in this life,
You're a sinner and bad man, they tell,
When you die you will sure go to hell.
This song was originally posted on
Workingmen of all countries, unite,
Side by side we for freedom will fight:
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafters we'll sing this refrain:

You will eat, bye and bye,
When you've learned how to cook and to fry;
Chop some wood, 'twill do you good,
And you'll eat in the sweet bye and bye.


1 - The Preacher and the Slave is sometimes known by the titles, Pie in the Sky, or Long Haired Preachers, which was its original title.

2 - This song is the origin of the term "pie in the sky".

3 - For more information on the life and death of Joe Hill, in Wikipedia.

Back to Joe Hill songs & lyrics