THE OLD TOILER'S MESSAGE (JOE HILL) (1913)
Tune: "Silver Threads Among the Gold" (HART PEASE DANKS) (1872)

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Mindful, too, of the man who could not find work because of disability, or the scarcity of jobs, Hill wrote "Down in the Old Dark Mill" and "The Old Toiler's Message." These sentimentalized verses pictured drifting human derelicts, unable to work and reduced to keeping themselves alive by whatever means they could devise.
Gibbs M. Smith, Labor Martyr Joe Hill, New York, NY, 1969, p. 35.

First published in the 21 August 1913 edition of the Industrial Worker "Little Red Songbook."

"Darling I am growing old'' --
So the toiler told his wife --
"Father Time the days have tolled
Of my usefulness in life.
Just tonight my master told me
He can't use me any more.
Oh, my darling, do not scold me,
When the wolf comes to our door.''
CHORUS:
To the scrap heap we are going
When we're overworked and old --
When our weary heads are showing
Silver threads among the gold.
"Darling, I am growing old --''
He once more his wife did tell --
"All my labor pow'r I've sold
I have nothing more to sell.
Though I'm dying from starvation
I shall shout with all my might
To the coming generation.
I shall shout with all my might --"

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