Joe Hill songs

Coffee an’ (1912)

Tune: “Count Your Blessings” (Johnson Ottman/E. O. Excell)
First published in the 1912 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook.

An employment shark the other day I went to see,
And he said come in and buy a job from me,
Just a couple of dollars, for the office fee,
The job is steady and the fare is free.

Count your pennies, count them, count them one by one,
Then you plainly see how you are done,
Count your pennies, take them in your hand,
Sneak into a Jap’s and get your coffee an’.

I shipped out and worked and slept in lousy bunks,
And the grub it stunk as bad as forty-‘leven skunks,
When I slaved a week the boss he said one day,
You’re too tired, you are fired, go and get your pay.

When the clerk commenced to count, Oh holy gee!
Road, school and poll tax and hospital fee.
Then I fainted, and I nearly lost my sense
When the clerk he said: “You owe me fifty cents.”

When I got back to town with blisters on my feet,
There I heard a fellow speaking on the street.
And he said: “It is the workers’ own mistake.
If they stick together they get all they make.”

And he said: “Come in and join our union grand.
Who will be a member of this fighting band?”
“Write me out a card,” says I, “By Gee!
The Industrial worker is the dope for me.”

Count your workers, count them, count them one by one,
Join our union and we’ll show you how it’s done.
Stand together, workers, hand in hand,
Then you will never have to live on coffee an’.

For sheet music and karaoke file click here.

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