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Eight Hours (2)

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Eight Hours (2)

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Eight Hours (2)
(Words I.G. Blanchard, tune Rev. Jesse H. Jones)

We mean to make things over, we are tired of toil for naught
With but bare enough to live on and ne'er an hour for thought.
We want to feel the sunshine and we want to smell the flowers
We are sure that God has willed it and we mean to have eight hours;
     We're summoning our forces from the shipyard, shop and mill

cho: Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
     Eight hours for what we will;
     Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest
     Eight hours for what we will.

The beasts that graze the hillside, and the birds that wander free,
In the life that God has meted, have a better lot than we.
Oh hands and hearts are weary, and homes are heavy with dole;
If our life's to be filled with drudgery, what need of a human soul.
     Shout, shout the lusty rally, from shipyard, shop, and mill.

Ye deem they're feeble voices that are raised in labor's cause,
But bethink ye of the torrent, and the wild tornado's laws.
We say not toil's uprisnig in terror's shape will come,
Yet the world were wise to listento the monetary hum.
     Soon, soon the deep toned rally shall all the nations thrill.

From factories and workshops in long and weary lines,
From all the sweltering forges, and from out the sunless mines,
Wherever toil is wasting the force of life to live
There the bent and battered armies come to claim what God doth give
     And the blazon on the banner doth with hope the nation fill:

Hurrah, hurrah for labor, for it shall arise in might
It has filled the world with plenty, it shall fill the world with light
Hurrah, hurrah for labor, it is mustering all its powers
And shall march along to victory with the banner of Eight Hours.
     Shout, shout the echoing rally till all the welkin thrill

From American Labor Songs of the Nineteenth Century, Foner
Note: According to Foner, this was the most pipular labor
America in the 1860s, '70s and '80s.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III