We are asking one another
as we pass the time of day
Why working men resort to arms
to get their proper pay,
And why our labor unions
they must not be recognized,
While the actions of a syndicate
must not be criticized.
Now the troubles down at Homestead
were brought about this way
When a grasping corporation
had the audacity to say:
"You must all renounce your union
and forswear your liberty,
And we'll give you a chance to live
and die in slavery."
Now the man that fights for honor,
none can blame him.
May luck attend wherever he may roam.
And no son of his will ever live
to shame him.
Whilst Liberty and Honor rule our Home.
Now this sturdy band of working men
started out at the break of day
Determination in their faces
which plainly meant to say:
"No one can come and take our homes
for which we have toiled so long
No one can come and take our places ---
no, here's where we belong!"
A woman with a rifle
saw her husband in the crowd,
She handed him the weapon
and they cheered her long and loud.
He kissed her and said, "Mary,
you go home till we're through."
She answered,"No. If you must die,
my place is here with you."
When a lot of tramp detectives
came without authority
Like thieves at night when decent men
were sleeping peacefully---
Can you wonder why all honest hearts
with indignation burn,
And why the slimy worm that treads the earth
when trod upon will turn?
When they locked out men at Homestead
so they were face to face
With a lot of bum detectives
and they knew it was their place
To protect their homes and families,
and this was neatly done
And the public will reward them
for the victories they won.
Homestead Strike (1892), Carnegie Steel
locked out 3800 Amalgamated Assn Iron & Steel
workers; workers barricaded plant and shut it down
for 5 days. July 6 Carnegie hired 300 armed
Pinkertons with guns, dynamite, cannon.
Battle lasted all day, Pinkerton's surrendered.
total 10 dead, over 60 wounded.
Recorded by Stekert- Songs of a New York Lumberjack