Digital Tradition Mirror

The Shoemaker's Song

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The Shoemaker's Song
(Allen Peabody).
To the tune of "Yankee Doodle"

Ye jours and snobs thru-out the land,
'Tis time to be astir;
The Natick boys are all on hand,
And we must not demur.'

   Up and let us have a strike
   Fair prices we'll demand.
   Firmly let us all unite,   '
   Unite throughout the land.

This winter past, we've kept alive,
By toiling late at night,
With no encouragement to thrive
Such unpaid toil ain't right.

Starvation looks us in the face,
We cannot work so low;
Such prices are a sore disgrace;
Our children ragged go.

Our children must attend the schools,
And we must pay our bills,
We must have means to buy our tools,
Gaunt stomachs must be filled.

We must have decent clothes to wear,
A place to get our rest.
Must not be burdened so with care,
And must go better dressed.

Shall we run constantly in debt,
And toil the while like slaves?
Old age may overtake us yet
May yet fill pauper's graves.

Shame on the men, the stupid curs,
Who might speak if they could,
Who will not join the Union boys,
But whine, "'Twill do no good."

The carpenters get up a strike
The masons do the same,
And we'll take hold with all our might,
And elevate our name.

'Twas union gained the glorious boon,
Our nation now enjoys;
Then let's awake and soon back up
The glorious Natick boys.

From American Labor Songs of the 19 Century, Foner
Note: Written during the Great Shoemaker's Strike of 1860; this
strike started in Natick, and spread throughout New England,
involving some 20,000 shoeworkers. It was the largest strike in
the US up to that time. RG


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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