Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day

8 comments:

Baydog said...

Nice song. Er..you spelled labour wrong.

Tillerman said...

Labor, labour, whatever.

I am well aware that my relatively comfortable life today is built on a base created by the efforts of the British trade union movement and (their creation) the British Labour Party in the years before I was born. Good public housing, universal health care, excellent free education... without all those advantages I don't know where I would be today. Probably dying on the job like my grandfather.

And today is a good day to give thanks for all that.

Baydog said...

Happy Labor Day, Tillerman, and everyone else.

ChrisP said...

Loved that bit about girls marrying Union men and joining the Women's Auxiliary. Equality was still for men then (and white men at that).

Tillerman said...

That's right Chris. The song is rather strange in that respect, apparently celebrating a "union maid" for her boldness and independence and then petering off (pun intended) into that bit about the women's auxiliary. Very disjointed I thought.

A bit of research on The Google shows why. The song goes back to 1940 and the first two verses were written by Woody Guthrie. The final verse was written later by Willard Lampell and other members of the Almanac singers.

The video was from 1963. I wonder if the recognition of women's equality had advanced enough by then that Seeger was singing the last verse in an ironic sense? He certainly seems to be amused by it.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Thanks for posting Saint Peter on Labor Day! Very appropriate!

O Docker said...

Nice note here about how the little ditty at the end got written - which may also explain why Lampell later added the third verse.

Tillerman said...

Great job O Docker. So it was really written by two different people at three different times! No wonder it sounds so disjointed.

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