Union Songs


A poem by Guillevic
Tune by Pete Seeger©1963 Stormking Music Inc.

Two million bushels of North African grain
Resold to Germany for Swiss francs
Paid for by a consortium of banks
With a deal in futures that the Stock Exchange
Unloads for coffee from Brazilian uplands
Destined for Paris, Before the whole deal sinks
The checks written in indelible inks
Outrace Atlantic's winter hurricanes

At last the coffee arrives, also the wheat
Needless to say, the deal was a success
Who can deny that all of us have gained?
Our benefactors? Three trusts. They compete
For honor, glory, power and of course,
Profits, where all happiness is contained


I first heard this song in the early 1960s, Pete Seeger on a Folkways record.

It comes from "Love Song of the Resistance", a poem by the Breton poet Eugene Guillevic. Translated by Walter Lowenfels and set to music by Pete Seeger it holds up well as a wry comment on what is these days called "globalisation"

The song is one of 89 on Smithsonian Folkways new 5 CD release "The Best of Broadside" available from:

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