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The Poor Voter on Election Day, song lyrics

Song: The Poor Voter on Election Day
Lyrics: John G. Whittier(1)(2)

Music: to the tune of "Partant pour la Syrie"
Year: 1852
Country: USA

The proudest now is but my peer,
The highest not more high;
Today, of all the weary year,
A king of men am I;
Today alike are great and small,
The nameless and unknown,
My palace is the people's hall,
The ballot box my throne.

Who serves today upon the list
Beside the served shall stand;
Alike the brown and wrinkled fist,
The glove and dainty hand!
The rich is level with the poor,
The weak is strong today;
And sleekest broadcloth counts no more
Than homespun frock of gray.
This song was originally posted on
Today let pomp and vain pretense
My stubborn right abide;
I set a plain man's common sense
Against a dedant's pride.
Today shall simple manhood try
The strength of gold and land;
The wide world has not wealth to buy
The power in my right hand!

While there's a grief to seek redress
Or balance to adjust,
Where weighs our living manhood less
Than Mammon's(3) vilest dust.
While there's a right to need my vote,
A wrong to sweep away,
Up! clouted knee and ragged coat!
A man's a man today!


1 - The Labor Reform Songster, 1892, by Phillips Thompson, published in Philadelphia, Journal of the Knights of Labor, 1892, p.24-25.

2 - John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892), an American poet and abolitionist. Information from the John Greenleaf Wittier Home and Museum.

3 - "Mammon" a demon to money and material persuits.