What We Want (1913)

Tune: “Rainbow” (Percy Wenrich)
First published in the March 1913 edition of the IWW’s Little Red Songbook.

We want all the workers in the world to organize
Into a great big union grand
And when we all united stand
The world for workers we demand
If the working class could only see and realize
What mighty power labor has
Then the exploiting master class
It would soon fade away.

CHORUS:
Come all ye toilers that work for wages,
Come from every land,
Join the fighting band,
In one union grand,
Then for the workers we’ll make upon this earth a paradise
When the slaves get wise and organize.

We want the sailor and the tailor and the lumberjacks,
And all the cooks and laundry girls,
We want the guy that dives for pearls,
The pretty maid that’s making curls,
And the baker and staker and the chimneysweep,
We want the man that’s slinging hash,
The child that works for little cash
In one union grand.

We want the tinner and the skinner and the chamber-maid,
We want the man that spikes on soles,
We want the man that’s digging holes,
We want the man that’s climbing poles,
And the trucker and the mucker and the hired man,
And all the factory girls and clerks,
Yes, we want every one that works,
In one union grand.

For sheet music and karaoke file click here. To purchase John McCutcheon’s recording of this song click here.

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