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Circumstances Alter Cases

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Circumstances Alter Cases

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Circumstances Alter Cases
(A. D. Cridge)

We're Communists and Socialists
     And dynamiters, too;
We're slaves of walking delegates*
     Who tell us what to do,
There's nothing we should kick about,
We've all got "cheek" sublime;
But we're "bone and sinew of the land,"

We're howlers of calamity,
     We're crazy flat fools,
We're lawless scum and foreign scruff,
     And "stubborner nor mules."
They threaten us with Gatling guns
And in our "hair to climb";
But we're "thinking toilers of the land,"

We're wild-eyed hayseeds, lazy shirks,
     Alliance traitors, knaves;
We're looters of the vaults of wealth,
     And our speaker always "raves";
We're a danger to the country
And Republic all the time;
But we're "honest, sturdy farmers,"

We're everything that's vile and mean,
     For twice three hundred days;
Nihilists, thugs and Pinkertons
     Are urged on us to blaze,
If we but demand justice,
As against a gilded crime;
But we're "valiant hosts of labor,"

They tell us of protection,
     And the glory of a tax;
The right of honest capital
     To ride upon our backs;
Our comfort and prosperity
(Though we haven't got a dime),
And to once more save the party,

They tax us, and they drive us,
     And mock us in our woe;
They tell us we're responsible,
     Though they know it isn't so;
And we stand right up and take it,
While the "bloats" their pockets line,
Oh, we're several million darndest fools,


* The term "walking delegates" was used to describe union
organizers who were accused of using unscrupulous tactics
to coerce workers into joining.
Note: Published in the Journal of the Knights of Labor, May 4,
1893. Tune not supplied, but sings well to Auld Lang Syne.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III