The Rebel Girl (1915)

Words and music written by Joe Hill in Salt Lake City Utah prison 1915. First published in 1916 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook

There are women of many descriptions
In this queer world, as everyone knows.
Some are living in beautiful mansions,
And are wearing the finest of clothes.
There are blue blooded queens and princesses,
Who have charms made of diamonds and pearl;
But the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.

CHORUS:

That’s the Rebel Girl, that’s the Rebel Girl!
To the working class she’s a precious pearl.
She brings courage, pride and joy
To the fighting Rebel Boy.
We’ve had girls before, but we need some more
In the Industrial Workers of the World.
For it’s great to fight for freedom
With a Rebel Girl.

Yes, her hands may be hardened from labor,
And her dress may not be very fine;
But a heart in her bosom is beating
That is true to her class and her kind.
And the grafters in terror are trembling
When her spite and defiance she’ll hurl;
For the only and thoroughbred lady
Is the Rebel Girl.

Links to performances of the song by: Hazel Dickens, Janne LaerkedahlJoe GlazerHanna Fearns & Rahel Beißel, Cathy Richardson, Bucky Halker, and the New Jersey State Industrial Union Council’s Solidarity SingersFor sheet music and karaoke file click hereTo purchase John McCutcheon’s recording of this song click here.

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