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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

10 Great Songs for Labour Day! Featuring Paul Robeson, Billy Bragg, Mavis Staples & more

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

Happy Labour Day!

Whatever way you will be celebrating it in these challenging times here is a playlist of ten great songs to help to put you in the mood of the day. Solidarity with workers in struggle around the world.

Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)

Solidarity with immigrants everywhere. Borders were created simply to divide the world's people. They are the arbitrary instruments of violence, nationalism and oppression.

When you hear a politician talking the racist and anti-immigrant talk, remember this Woody Guthrie classic. This version has various artists.

Talking Union - Pete Seeger (1941)

"If you wait for the bosses to raise your pay you will all be waiting for the Judgement Day"

Phil Ochs - There But For Fortune

There but for fortune...

Joe Hill - Paul Robeson

Joe Hill. American hero. Paul Robeson is one as well.

Which Side Are You On? - Dropkick Murphys

A great version of a union classic. Which side are you on? Because if you are voting for do-nothing "progressive" politicians or are celebrating Justin Trudeau or Joe Biden those lines may have become blurred in your mind.

Mavis Staples - "We Shall Not Be Moved"

The great Mavis Staples with the majestic civil right anthem.

Bread & Roses - Queen Cee

A stunning version of one of the great cries for justice and freedom ever sung or written.

Solidarity Forever - Utah Phillips

A moving rendition of the great classic. Solidarity Forever! The Union Makes Us Strong!

There is Power in a Union - Billy Bragg

Bragg's classic union anthem.

And a final song...we shall overcome, someday. Deep in my heart I do believe this and I hope you do too.

Solidarity Forever!

Workers of the World Unite!

1 comment

1 Comment

Lagatta de Montréal
Lagatta de Montréal
Sep 07, 2020

Well, since I live in Québec, I celebrate it on the 1st of May, like most workers except anglo-North Americans, but am glad to hear those songs! There actually will be a (North American) Labour Day demo here later today, downtown, I think mostly about status for all. I'm not sure I'll have time to go down there, I'll see.

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