Lokashakti Library of Nonviolence, Peace, and Social Justice


Joe Hill

Songs of the WobbliesSet to the music of the Christian hymn 'There is Power in the Blood (of the Lamb)', this song by Joe Hill was meant to bolster recruitment for the Industrial Workers of the World.  It was first published in the 1913 edition of the IWW's 'Little Red Songbook'.  The recording featured here is by folk singers Joe Glazer and Bill Friedland, included on the LP record 'Songs of the Wobblies' from 1954.

Type of audio resource: Protest song
Song title: There is Power in a Union
Composer: Joe Hill
Year of composition: 1913
Performer: Joe Glazer and Bill Friedland
Year of performance: 1954
Album: Songs of the Wobblies
Label: Labor Arts
Release date: 1954

Total time: 2:42

Song Lyrics:

Would you have freedom from wage slavery,
Then join in the grand industrial band.
Would you from mis'ry and hunger be free,
Then come, do your share, like a man!


There is pow'r, there is pow'r
In a band of working men.
When they stand hand in hand,
That's a pow'r, that's a pow'r
That must rule in every land:
One industrial union grand.

Would you have mansions of gold in the sky,
And live in a shack, way in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly,
And starve here with rags on your back?


If you've had enough of 'the blood of the lamb,'
Then join in the grand industrial band.
If, for a change, you would have eggs and ham,
Then come, do your share, like a man!


If you like sluggers to beat off your head,
Then don't organize, all unions despise.
If you want nothing before you are dead,
Shake hands with your boss and look wise.


Come, all ye workers, from every land,
Come join in the grand industrial band.
Then we our share of this earth shall demand.
Come on, do your share, like a man!

This recording is licensed by Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0.

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