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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, Latino, 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 athlete in the iconic photo of the '68 Olympics.
Time Periods: 20th Century, People’s Movement: 1961 - 1974
Themes: Organizing, Sports
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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: Art & Music, Environment & Food, Labor
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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 & Food, Labor
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Song for Hugh Thompson

Song. By David Rovics. Ballad about Hugh Thompson who tried to defend the people of My Lai, Vietnam.
Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Art & Music, Wars & Related Anti-War Movements
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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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The World Turned Upside Down

Song. By Leon Rosselson. The story of the 1649 revolt of the dispossessed in England who fought against the vested interest of the propertied. A vision of society that is cooperative and in harmony with the earth.
Themes: Art & Music, Labor, Organizing
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