Joe Hill songs

There Is Power In A Union

Tune: “There Is Power in the Blood”
First published in the March 1913 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook.

Would you have freedom from wage slavery,
Then join in the grand Industrial band;
Would you from mis’ry and hunger be free,
Then come! Do your share, like a man.

There is pow’r, there is pow’r
In a band of workingmen.
When they stand hand in hand,
That’s a pow’r, that’s a pow’r
That must rule in every land —
One Industrial Union Grand.

Would you have mansions of gold in the sky,
And live in a shack, way in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly,
And starve here with rags on your back?

If you’ve had “nuff” of “the blood of the lamb,”
Then join in the grand Industrial band;
If, for a change, you would have eggs and ham.
Then come! Do your share, like a man.

If you like sluggers to beat off your head,
Then don’t organize, all unions despise,
If you want nothing before you are dead,
Shake hands with your boss and look wise.

Come, all ye workers, from every land,
Come join in the grand Industrial band.
Then we our share of this earth shall demand.
Come on! Do your share, like a man.

Listen to performances by: U. Utah Phillips, Joe Glaser. Billy Bragg reworked the song as Power in a UnionFor sheet music and karaoke file click here.

2 replies on “There Is Power In A Union”

Hi Billy Bragg website,
Political Folk Songs is a great website, but they had a server move recently and lost the links to their sheet music resources…it is difficult to get a sheet music copy of ‘Power in the Union’ without parting with at least bank details, despite it being out of copyright

We are not affiliated with Billy Bragg, and his version of Power in the Union differs somewhat from Joe Hill’s. We do link to his version from our Power in the Union page, though.
Thanks for alerting us to the problem with the Political Folk Songs link. We have tested a few, and while still works, the subsidiary links seem to be having a problem. We will monitor the situation for a while. Sheet music for the hymn Joe Hill used for the melody is available in several arrangements (for choir, piano, etc.); some charge but most do not. Here is one example: Most of Joe Hill’s songs were written to pre-existing melodies, all of which are now in the public domain. So if the link isn’t working on any song, you should be able to find another version (likely with the wrong lyrics, peddling some sky pilot or commercial malarkey) using any search engine.

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