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New York City Labor Chorus
email: info@nyclc.org
212 929-3232
NYC Labor Chorus c/o CWE
275 7th Avenue, Suite 1800
New York, NY 10001


past performances | lyric sampler

Repertoire

Music from Past Performances

A Miner's Life
The Army Song
Asikhatali
Banks of Marble
Bread and Roses
Die Gedanken Sind Frei
Do You Hear the People Sing?
Dona Nobis Pacem
El Pueblo Unido
Follow the Drinking Gourd
Garbage
Get Thee Behind Me Satan
Give Me your Tired
Guantanamera
Harmony
Health Care Song (Go Tell It to the Nation)
Health Care Workers Are United
Hold the Fort
I Don't Want Your Millions
I've Been Buked
Joe Hill
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
Lift Every Voice
Listen to the Earth
Lives in the Balance
Look Over Yonder
Money, Money
More Than a Paycheck
My Mind Stayed on Freedom
No More Auction Block For Me
Not In Our Name
Ode to Workers
Oh Freedom (Social Justice)
On the Line
Rockin' Solidarity
Roll the Union On
Si Me Quieres Escribir
Sing Me a Song (Social Significance)
Sit Down Strike
Siyahamba
Solidarity Forever (Rockin' Solidarity)
Step by Step
There is Power in a Union
This Old Hammer
Union Maid
Union Train
United Front
Va. Pensiero
Visions of Children
Welcome Union Members
We Shall Not Give Up the Fight
We Shall Overcome
When the Idle Poor
Which Side Are You On?
Whoever Invented the Fishfinger


HEALTH CARE SONG
Words: Julie McCall, Local 722 SEIU
Music: Go Tell It On the Mountain

Chorus:
Go tell it to the nation
On Capitol Hill and everywhere
Go tell it to the nation
We all deserve healthcare.

The greedy corporations
Determine who survive.
Can we give just the wealthy
The right to stay alive!

Chorus

In hospitals and clinics
The poor are turned away.
The system won't provide for
The ones who cannot pay.

Chorus

It's time to work for changes
It's time to face the facts.
When children have no healthcare
Can we just turn our backs?

Chorus

For universal coverage
We're putting out a call
Cause freedom without health care
Is not freedom at all!

Chorus


WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
Words: Florence Reece (1931)
Music: old hymn tune

Come all of you good workers
Good news to you I'll tell,
Of how the good old union
Has come in here to dwell.

Chorus:
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?
Which side are you on?

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there.
You'll either be a union man
Or a thug for J.H.Blair

Chorus

My daddy was a miner
And I'm a miner's son
And I'll stick with the union
Till ev'ry battle's won.

Chorus

Oh workers can you stand it?
Oh tell me how you can.
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?

Chorus

Don't scab for the bosses
Don't listen to their lies.
Us poor folks haven't got a chance
Unless we organize.

Chorus
BANKS OF MARBLE
By Lee Rice

I've traveled 'round this country
From shore to shining shore
And it really made me wonder
At the things I heard and saw.

I saw the weary farmer
He was plowing sod and loam
And I heard the auction hammer
It was knocking down his home.

But the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door
And the vaults are stuffed with silver
That the farmer sweated for.

I saw the weary miner
Scrubbing coal dust from his back
And I heard his children crying
Got no coal to heat the shack

But the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door
And the vaults are stuffed with silver
That the miner sweated for.

I saw the idle seamstress
Her factory's been shut down
Twenty girls now get her wages
In a Guatamalan town.

But the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door
And the vaults are stuffed with silver
That the seamstress sweated for.

I've seen my people working
Throughout this mighty land
And I prayed we'd get together
And together make a stand.

Then we'd own those banks of marble
With no guard at any door
And we'd share those vaults of silver
That we have sweated for.


VINE AND FIG TREE

And everyone 'neath their vine and fig tree
Shall live in peace and unafraid (repeat)

And into plowshares beat their swords
Nations shall learn war no more (repeat)

Love to your neighbor and
Love to the Spirit of all life! (repeat)

Gala Benefit Concert 2007 - Program 

Our 2007 Gala Benefit Concert was a sold out success! Below is the Concert Program which describes the exciting music we performed on June 16, 2007. 

There is Power in a Union
Words by Billy Bragg, melody from the anti-slavery song of the American Civil War, "The Battle Cry of Freedom."

Sit Down Strike
Words and music by Peter Schlosser.

COAL MINERS' STORY

A Miner's Life
Traditional

Which Side Are You On?
Words and music by Florence Reece, wife of a union leader in the 1931 miners strike of Harlan County, Kentucky. Written after the sheriff, J.H. Blair, and his goons broke into her home while she was protecting her young children.

We Shall Not Give Up the Fight
Out of the struggles in South Africa.

THE DESIRE FOR FREEDOM

Asikhatali
An anti-apartheid song from South Africa.

Follow the Drinking Gourd
Contains coded information for runaway slaves: "The Drinking Gourd" is the Big Dipper, which points North; "Peg Foot" refers to Peg Leg Joe, who helped spread information from plantation to plantation; and "when the sun comes back and the first quail calls" refers to wintertime, when the Ohio River is frozen so escapees could walk across. Arrangement by Peter Schlosser.

Gedanken Sind Frei
Old German political song dating back to the era of The Peasant's War [1524-1526], a forerunner of the great freedom revolts which culminated in the French Revolution.  Arrangement by Peter Schlosser.

Va, Pensiero
Chorus sung by the Hebrew slaves in Verdi's "Nabucco", it became the unofficial hymn of Italian national liberation and reunification.

Oh Freedom
"My belief in freedom goes way back to the days when my mother used to sing 'Oh Freedom'...these words...gave me strength when things seemed bad, and they guided my thoughts about what I was willing to do to be free." Rosa Parks


INTERMISSION


THE REALITY OF WAR

The Army Song
Words by Bertolt Brecht, music by Kurt Weill, English words by M. Blitzstein, from "Threepenny Opera."  Arrangement by Peter Schlosser.

Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye
An Irish song, generally dated to the early 19th century, when Irish troops served the British East India Company. Arrangement by Peter Schlosser.

Si Me Quieres Escribir
From the Spanish Civil War.

OUR PRECIOUS PLANET

Listen to the Earth
Words and music by Peter Schlosser.

Step By Step
Chorus from the constitution of the American Miners Union circa 1860 with  additional words by our own bass, Jeff Vogel.  Sung to a traditional Irish melody.

OUR UNION HERITAGE

Get Thee Behind Me, Satan
Written by Lee Hayes and the Almanac Singers. Arrangement by Peter Schlosser.

Union Maid
Words by Woody Guthrie to the tune of "Red Wing" arranged by Peter Schlosser.

Hold the Fort
British Transport Workers' Union Song. Arranged by Geoffrey Fairweather, reconstructed by Barbara Barnes, Gene Glickman and Dennis Nelson.