Union Songs


A Song by Barry Swayn©Barry Swayn 2012

- [play]

From wood and sail to steel and steam
Ships of shame and pressgang teams
To a free market privateers
Broken backs slavery and tears
Now we're walking home from the Hungry Mile
Slinging the hooks was just their style
Open cargo muscle bound
Working for less than two bob an hour

We call this death in the lower decks
A midnight shift on a stinking wreck

For we are proud and we are one
Fought for conditions duly won
Stand united we stand true
The MUA it works for you, yes all of you

At first it was our federation
That gave us wharfies some salvation
The Maritime Union of Australia
To so many has become a saviour
Throughout the years we felt the pain
Nothing ventured nothing gained

Arbitration negotiation
We worked the ports of an island nation
For we stood tall on the picket line
To rally the cause we'd march in time

We drew a line into the sand
Valued the effort of the working man
The eight hour day we made our stand
Fairness for all, it's a simple plan
At work divided by oceans wide
As maritime workers side by side


Many thanks to the MUA for permission to add this song to the Union Songs collection.

The Warrains - Our MUA - Lyrics by Barry Swayn

Retired life member of the MUA and former waterside worker from Western Port Bay and part time poet Barry Swayn wrote the inspiring lyrics for his sons song "Our MUA" and by doing so contributed to a prize winning entry in a recent music competition held by the MUA.

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