page contents
 


Political Folk Music is a not for profit website dedicated to the historical preservation of working class music, including lyrics, sheet music, midi files, and karaoke files. Political Folk Music promotes the social performance of working class songs in accordance with the belief of Fellow Worker John Neuhaus, who "passionately believed that Wobblies and friends should continue to sing [these songs]," treating them not as "cultural or historical artifacts" but as "songs in the repertoires of living singers" (The Big Red Songbook, Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company, 2007, p. 7).


The philosophy of Political Folk Music is best represented by Richard Brazier's "The Little Red Songbook":

 

Oh, don't you remember that little Red book

That to many had brought much delight

To sing its songs, when their fancy it took,

As they would sing them both day and night?

In logging camps, where the mountains are high,

In valleys and places so alone,

Or waiting to catch a train on the fly,

They'd sing all those songs of their own.

Or waiting to catch a train on the fly,

They'd sing all those songs of their own.

 

Oh, don't you remember each old Wobbly song

And all those who had birth to them gave?

Now, to all workers, these songs do belong,

Like Joe Hill's "The Preacher and the Slave."

And of Ralph Chaplin's, the best one of all,

The sweet strains of it will ever ring

As Labor's anthem, its clarion call,

"Solidarity Forever" we'll sing.

As Labor's anthem, its clarion call,

"Solidarity Forever" we'll sing.

 

Oh, don't ever forget that little Red book,

For its day will return very soon.

Then, workers, seeking at old songs to look,

In that old book will find the right tune,

For all the old songs, and many that's new,

Will repeat that old story again

Of Workers, unite, together be true,

If real Freedom you'd hope to attain.

Of Workers, unite, together be true,

If real Freedom you'd hope to attain.

 

Then, all united, "we" gather our might,

As we march to a much better day.

Then, as we travel to a future so bright,

We will sing all our troubles away

Songs that will cheer us as we hike along

That hard road that all workers must take.

If Freedom is worth a fight and a song,

That old songbook a good friend will make.

If Freedom is worth a fight and a song,

That old songbook a good friend will make.

 

Political Folk Music sets out to be an exhaustive digital friend to the workers of the world by preserving the songs of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World), of Paul Robeson, of Utah Phillips, of Alistair Hulett, of Chumbawamba, and of other politically left-leaning radicals.


Political Folk Music encourages the financial support of living musicians. The inclusion of copyrighted material is intended for educational use only. If any copyright holder objects to the inclusion of any material on this website, please contact the website administrator by emailing administrator@politicalfolkmusic.org and the offending material will be removed.