Lancashire Lads for Lincoln

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Lancashire Lads for Lincoln

I

The mills are closed, the children hungry

Proud workingmen in soup kitchen queues

mixt wi't stondin paupers too,
Ut wilno work when works t'be 'ad.

The cotton hoed beneath the lash

The cotton picked by bleeding hands

The cotton cleaned by groaning slaves

Rots in Charleston warehouses.

For the pure cloth spun in Manchester mills

The fine cloth woven by Lancashire lads

Is dyed with blood

And stained by chattel slavery.

And the men in the Free Trade Hall rise up

Not to demand the blockade be broken

Not to agitate for cotton to come

But to call for the end of that foul blot

On civilization and Christian faith

To call for the day when all the slaves

Shall be forever free.

II

Night falls on the silent spindles and the idle looms

The factories dark and shuttered

The cold and crowded tenements

The children crying for food,

The slight man wearing kadhi cloth

Depressed and distressed by this misery.

And you whose grandfathers stood with Lincoln

Men and women of Darwen

At Greenfield Cotton Mill

Raise your voices for freedom

Raise your arms for Gandhi

The simple man with a spinning wheel.

III

Now I'm a child of workingmen

Proud Socialists, union organizers,

Enduring long strikes and hard times

In their pursuit of justice.

Today, as we celebrate the birth of a King

Who invited us all into his dream,

I wonder if this moment would have come

Without the men of the Textile Workers Union

Who went hungry and cold

Fighting slavery in a land they would never see,

And I remember that we shall overcome

Not just because of a few great men,

Or even a few great women,

We shall overcome through the forgotten sacrifices

Of folk who aren't in any history book,

Whose names and lives have passed unknown and unnoticed,

We shall overcome when millions walk together,

We shall overcome

When each of us

In our factories, offices, fields, houses, hospitals--

When each of us spins

Our homespun thread of freedom.

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This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on January 20, 2013 5:55 PM.

Remembering Menuhin was the previous entry in this blog.

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