Digital Tradition Mirror

Commonwealth of Toil

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Commonwealth of Toil
  (Ralph Chaplin)

In the gloom of mighty cities
'Mid the roar of whirling wheels
We are toiling on like chattel slaves of old
And our masters hope to keep us
Ever thus beneath their heels
And to coin our very lifeblood into gold

   But we have a glowing dream
   Of how fair the world would seem
   When each man can live his life secure and free
   When the earth is owned by Labor
   And there's joy and peace for all
   In the Commonwealth of Toil that is to be

They would keep us cowed and beaten
Cringing meekly at their feet
They would stand between each worker and his bread
Shall we yield our lives up to them
For the bitter crust we eat?
Shall we only hope for heaven when we're dead?

They have laid our lives out for us
To the utter end of time
Shall we stagger on beneath their heavy load?
Shall we let them live forever
In their gilded halls of crime
With our children doomed to toil beneath their goad?

When our cause is all triumphant
And we claim our Mother Earth
And the nightmare of the present fades away
We shall live with Love and Laughter
We, who now are little worth
And we'll not regret the price we have to pay

tune: Darling Nellie Gray

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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