Songs and Poems

Which Side Are You On - Book Cover

Which Side Are You On?: The Story of A Song

Book - Non-fiction. By George Ella Lyon. Artwork by Christopher Cardinale. 2011. This children's book tells the story of a classic union song written in 1931 and the harsh conditions under which it was written.
Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing, Social Class
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Fasanella - The Great Strike | Zinn Education Project

Bread and Roses

Song. Reprinted from Labor Notes 2007. Links issues of economic security and quality of life, also addresses the role of women in the struggle for justice.
Time Periods: 20th Century, World War I: 1910 - 1919
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Women's History
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Chávez Ravine: A Record by Ry Cooder

Songs. By Ry Cooder. 2005. 70 min. The story of the Chicano community bulldozed to pave the way for the Dodger Stadium in Santa Monica, told through bilingual songs.
Time Periods: 20th Century, Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: Art & Music, Latinx, Organizing, Social Class, Sports
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Peter Norman | Zinn Education Project

Elegy for Peter Norman

Poem. By Josh Healey. Poem about Peter Norman, the white Australian athlete in the historic protest and iconic photo at the 1968 Olympics.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Organizing, Sports
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Ghost Fishing Poetry Anthology (book cover) | Zinn Education Project

Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology

Poetry. Edited by Melissa Tuckey. 460 pages. 2018. A collection of poetry about colonial dispossession, the environmental crime of war, food and culture, resource extraction, resistance, and the Global South.
Time Periods: 20th Century, 21st Century
Themes: Climate Justice, Environment, Art & Music, Language Arts
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Hills of Tennessee

Song. By David Rovics. 2005. Eye-opening song that tells of the perils of mountain top removal.
Themes: Environment, Art & Music, Labor
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Poems from a Marshallese Daughter (Book Cover) | Zinn Education Project

Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter

Poetry. By Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner. 90 pages. 2017. Poetry reveals the traumas of colonialism, racism, forced migration, the legacy of American nuclear testing, and the impending threats of climate change.
Time Periods: 20th Century, 21st Century
Themes: Climate Justice, Environment, Pacific Islander, Racism & Racial Identity, Women's History
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This Land is Your Land

Song. By Woodie Guthrie. Recorded in 1940. Classic folk song written as a response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."
Themes: Organizing
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Solidarity Forever

Song. By Ralph Chaplin. 1915. One of the most popular labor songs.
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing
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Something in the Rain

Song. By Tish Hinojosa. 1992. A song about a boy's little sister who was poisoned by pesticides.
Themes: Environment, Labor
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Union Maid

Song. By Woody Guthrie. 1940. A union song written by Woody Guthrie in response to a request for a union song from a female point of view.
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing
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Union Makes Us Strong

Song. By David Rovics. 2010. The benefits of a union told through historic examples in a ballad.
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing
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Union Songs

Website. Developed by Mark Gregory. Over 700 union songs in an easy to search and regularly updated online collection with lyrics and audio.
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing
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When the Hunger Was Upon Us

Poem. By Nigel Gray. Poem about the causes and impact of the Irish Potato Famine.
Time Periods: 19th Century, Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849
Themes: Environment, Food, Social Class, World History/Global Studies
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