Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women's Day

Bread and Roses was the Union organizing song that came out of the Lawrence, Massachusetts Textile Workers Strike of !912. The two month long winter strike involved 20,000 workers, mostly women, of 40 different nationalities fighting for a 54 hour work week (down from 60) and objecting to arbitrary pay cuts by the industry.

Bread and Roses
As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing, bread and roses, bread and roses.
As we come marching, marching, we battle too, for men,
For they are in the struggle and together we shall win.
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes,
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread, but give us roses.
As we come marching, marching, un-numbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread,
Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses, too.
As we go marching, marching, we're standing proud and tall.
The rising of the women means the rising of us all.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories, bread and roses, bread and roses.


  1. LOL! When my wife (Norma) had her own political Consulting business she called it Nor-Rae Enterprises in recognition of her namesake.

  2. Listened to the song on YouTube by Joan Baez.