Union Songs

Hey! Polly

The politician prowls around
For workers' votes entreating
He claims to know the slickest way
To give the boss a beating

Polly we can't use you dear
To lead us into clover
This fight is ours and as for you
Clear out or get run over

He claims to be the bosses' foe
On workers' friendship doting
he says "Dont fight while on the job
But do it all by voting"

"Elect me to the office boys
Let all your rage pass o'er you
Dont bother with your countless wrongs
I'll do your fighting for you"

He says that slowing down won't do
(it isn't to his liking)
And that without his mighty aid
There is no use in striking

He says taht he can lead us all
To some fair El Dorado
But he's of such a yellow hue
He'd cast a golden shadow!

He begs and coaxes threatens yells
For shallow glory thirsting
In fact he's just a bag of wind
That's swollen up to bursting

The smiling bosses think he'd like
To boodle from their manger
And as he never mentions strike
They know there is no danger

And all the while he spouts and spiels
He's musing undetected
On what a lovely snap he'll have
When once he is elected


Tune 'Yankee Doodle'
I discovered this song in Verity Bergmann's "Revolutionary Industrial Relations: The Industrial Workers of the World in Australia" (Cambridge University Press, 1995)

It was first published in IWW, Songs of the Industrial Workers of the World, 3rd Australian edn, Sydney [c.1916]

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