Union Songs

British Working-Man

A song by Harry Linn©1870
Tune: God Bless the Prince of Wales

- [play]

Our city's in a fearful state at present, all will own,
There's sad distress and sorrow now in many a working home,
For Masters have been trying, and have done all they can,
To lower, disgrace and trample on the honest working-man.

So, workmen, ne'er surrender,
Or work like slaves to them;
We will make them yet remember
We are British working-men.

Who builds the noble vessels that sail the ocean wide,
And carries far and near the fame of the builders of the Clyde?
Far, far across the waters, in many a foreign land,
The skill is often envied of a British working-man.

In the morning, when the wealthy are wrapped in sweet repose,
The workman rises from his bed and off to toil he goes;
His limbs are sore and weary--what matters that to them,
For weariness should never come to common working-men.

Let's take the poor man's children--the wealthy look at theirs,
And see the diference how the poor and rich man's children fairs:
For the rich man's child is pampered, and dressed like princes grand,
And scorns to speak to any child of an honest working-man.

It often has be written, Britannia rules the waves,
It ne'er was known that Britain had got so many slaves;
But let's unite together and have no slavery then,
But claim the rights that should belong to British working-men.


A broadside ballad from the Poet's Box in Scotland published in 1870 with this introduction:

'Written by HARRY LINN, Negro Delineator and Comic Vocalist, and author of "Jim, the Carter Lad," "A Game of Cards, or Catch the Ten," "Jessie Henderson, or the Scotch Mist," "Pawnshop News-boy," "Scotia I Adore," and a host of other excellent songs.

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