The Working Man
Author not known©1870There's a class that bears the stamp of the great
Tune: "The English Man"
Yet boast not of rank or line,
The battle field nor pomps of state,
Call forth no song of mine.
There's a nobler title far on earth,
Than lord, or duke, or king,
Brave hearts who have sprung from lowly birth,
Of which I proudly sing. For impressed in greatness, deny it who can?
It's stampt on the brow of a working man. There's a land that's hard with honest toil,
For ever first to aid,
That breaks up the yielding mine and soil,
From which all wealth is made;
There is not a mark but what's a gem,
Upon that hard hand set,
And brighter far than the pearly stem,
Are cheeks bedew'd with sweat. For the wealth of the earth, deny it who can?
Is raised by the sweat of the working man. The proud ship that rides from isle to isle,
Proclaims the workman's skill;
If you ask who laid yon stately pile,
The cry is the labourer still.
England is proud of her lofty name,
That sounds from shore to shore;
And what is the source of her wealth and fame,
But labour for ever more. They are truth telling foot-prints, deny it who can?
That are left on earth by a working man. Then glory be to the manly brow,
By labour now dignified,
Hurrah for the forge, the loom, and the plough,
Our country's wealth and pride;
There's a brighter age for the toiling ones,
Now struggling into birth,
When the world shall own its noblest sons,
In every nook of the earth. For the world stirring lever, deny it who can?
Is the pen of the patriot working man.
NotesA broadside ballad from the Poet's Box in Scotland published in 1870. Return to top of page
union songs..........a selection by mark gregory