The White Slave (1912)

Tune: “Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland” (Leo Friedman)
First published in the March 1913 edition (fifth edition) of the IWW Little Red Songbook.

One little girl, fair as a pearl,
Worked every day in a laundry;
All that she made for food she paid,
So she slept on a park bench so soundly;
An old procuress spied her there,
And whispered softly in her ear:

CHORUS:
Come with me now, my girly,
Don’t sleep out in the cold;
Your face and tresses curly
Will bring you fame and gold,
Automobiles to ride in, diamonds and silks to wear,
You’ll be a star bright, down in the red light,
You’ll make your fortune there.

Same little girl, no more a pearl,
Walks all alone ‘long the river,
Five years have flown, her health is gone,
She would look at the water and shiver,
Whene’er she’d stop to rest and sleep,
She’d hear a voice call from the deep:

Girls in this way, fall every day,
And have been falling for ages,
Who is to blame? you know his name,
It’s the boss that pays starvation wages.
A homeless girl can always hear
Temptations calling everywhere.

Swedish version sung (with a Hawaiian flavor) by Lucas Stark.  For sheet music and karaoke file click here.

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