Workers’ song

come all of you workers
who toil night and day
by hand and by brain
to earn your pay
who for centuries long past
for no more than your bread
have bled for your country
and counted your dead

in the factories and mills
in the shipyards and mines
we’ve often been told
to keep up with the times
for our skills are not needed
they’ve streamlined the job
and with sliderule and stopwatch
our pride they have robbed!

And when the sky darkens
and the prospect is war
who’s given a gun
and then pushed to the fore
and expected to die
for the land of our birth
when we’ve never owned
one handful of earth?

We’re the first ones to starve
we’re the first ones to die
we’re the first ones in line
for that pie-in-the-sky
but we’re always the last
when the cream is shared out
for the worker is working
when the fat cat’s about.

And all of these things
the worker has done
from tilling the fields
to carrying the gun
aye yoked to the plough
since time first began
and always expected to carry the can.

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