Joe Hill songs

Der Chief, of Fresno (1911)

A poem first published in the Industrial Worker’s February 2, 1911 edition during the IWW’s Fresno Free Speech Fight.

Who is the freak that had the cheek,
The crawling, slimy, cringing sneak,
That prohibits us the right to speak?
—— Der Chief.

Who gave the workers the loud Ha! Ha!
Who tried to trample down the law?
Who handed us the deal so raw?
—— Der Chief.

Who is the most notorious liar?
Who had stool pigeons in his hire?
Who mobbed our speakers, camp did fire?
—— Der Chief.

Who is this grey-haired guy so wise?
Who winks and blinks his bleary eyes?
Thinks he has the workers hypnotized?
—— Der Chief.

Who was the czar with haughty frown?
Who gave us floaters out of town?
And was surprised when we turned him down?
—— Der Chief.

Who recommended the cat-o’-nine
And wished to have it soaked in brine,
To make the workers fall in line?
—— Der Chief.

Who said the working men were scum?
That we were tramps and on the bum?
And that he had us on the run?
—— Der Chief.

Who was the despot who used his might?
Who broke the backbone of our fight?
Vagged all our leaders in one night?
—— Der Chief.

Who wears that worried look of pain,
When he finds the fight is on again?
Leaders coming on every train.
—— Der Chief.

Who is the mutt with shiny pate,
Who tried to chase us from this state,
And is surely going to meet his fate?
—— Der Chief.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *