The Preacher and the Slave (1911)

Tune: “Sweet Bye and Bye” (S. Fillmore Bennett/J. P. Webster)
First published in the 1911 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what’s wrong and what’s right;
But when asked how ’bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:

CHORUS:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.

The starvation army they play,
They sing and they clap and they pray
‘Till they get all your coin on the drum
Then they’ll tell you when you’re on the bum:

Holy Rollers and jumpers come out,
They holler, they jump and they shout.
Give your money to Jesus they say,
He will cure all diseases today.

If you fight hard for children and wife —
Try to get something good in this life —
You’re a sinner and bad man, they tell,
When you die you will sure go to hell.

Workingmen of all countries, unite,
Side by side we for freedom will fight;
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafters we’ll sing this refrain:

FINAL CHORUS:
You will eat, bye and bye,
When you’ve learned how to cook and to fry.
Chop some wood, ’twill do you good,
And you’ll eat in the sweet bye and bye.

Sung by: Bucky Halker, Mischief Brew, Utah Phillips, Norcsalordie, Ani DiFranco & Utah Phillips, Chris Buhalis. in Spanish: Malhaya Damian. For sheet music and karaoke file click here.

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