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Red Flag

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The Red Flag

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The Red Flag
(James O'Connell, 1899)

The worker's flag is deepest red
It shrouded oft our martyred dead;
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold
Their life-blood dyed its every fold.

cho: Then raise the scarlet standard high!
     Beneath its folds we'll live and die.
     Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
     We'll keep the red flag flying here.

Look 'round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.

It waved above our infant might
When all ahead seemed dark as night.
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We will not change its color now.

It suits today the meek and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place,
To cringe beneath the rich man's frown,
And haul that sacred emblem down.

With heads uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.
from the IWW songbook.
note: Originally set to The White Cockade, it's now usually sung to
   the gloomier O Tannenbaum  JB
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