OUR CAUSE IS MARCHING ON (DAVIE ROBB/tune: "BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC") (1913)

PLAY MIDI FILE (13 KB) IN BACKGROUND


The aftermath of the Ludlow Massacre, 1914

Any copyrighted material on these pages is used in "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).

The United States in the late nineteenth century offered a peculiarly inviting field for coarse leadership and crudely exercised power. Inhibitions that restrained a man in his own community scarcely applied when his decisions involved distant, invisible people. Witness, for example, the treatment accorded to dissident Western miners by such firms as the American Smelting and Refining Company and its immediate predecessors. Absentee owners ignorant of life around the mines readily gave subordinates a free hand to eliminate troublemakers. Acting behind the shield of the corporation, underlings then shot and beat, trampled the strikers' rights as citizens, and blacklisted them throughout the region.... As late as 1913, when bullets raked a strikers' camp outside Ludlow, Colorado, who could say that the local agents of the Colorado Coal and Iron Company were more than bloody tools? Yet the owner, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a kindly man busy with philanthropies, really knew nothing about it. Shocked by the affair, he felt approximately the same responsibility that he might have for any unfortunate act of nature.
Robert H. Wiebe, The Search for Order: 1877-1920, New York, NY, 1967, pp. 37-38

Lyrics as printed in UMWJ, Dec 11, 1913; as reprinted in George Korson, Coal Dust on the Fiddle, Hatboro, PA, 1965, pp. 388-389

There's a fight in Colorado for to set the miners free,
From the tyrants and the money kings and all the powers that be,
They have trampled o'er the freedom that was meant for you and me,
But right is marching on.
CHORUS:
Cheer, boys, cheer the cause of union!
The colorado miners' union!
Glory, glory to our union!
Our cause is marching on.
We have tried to meet our masters for the people's common weal,
And to ease the miners' burden which our wives and children feel,
That each miner may get honest weight which now the masters steal,
Our laws must all prevail.

There's no justice in a system which will give a tyrant scope,
To encroach upon the rights of men without a gleam of hope,
And well we know that better men have dangled on a rope,
With justice marching on.

There were union men at Lexington and famous Bunker Hill,
At Valley Forge and Brandywine, to curb a tyrant's will,
And the union men at Gettysburg displayed the greatest skill,
To keep this nation whole.

'Tis the union of our miners that must battle for our rights,
For to show the power of labor as we've done in other fights,
To protect our wives and children and a cause that heaven lights,
Our cause is marching on.

We appeal to ev'ry statesman to uphold our nation's name,
And to crush within our borders now, a mighty nation's shame;
When the workers are protected then our nation grows in fame,
And freedom's crowned for aye.

TO TOP OF PAGE
LOUIS TIKAS, LUDLOW MARTYR (poem; UMWJ, May 28, 1914)
LUDLOW MASSACRE (WOODY GUTHRIE) (c. 1944)
WE'RE COMING, COLORADO (FRANK J. HAYES) (1913)
TO LABOR MOVEMENT PAGE
TO SONGS FROM THE MINES PAGE
TO AMERICAN HISTORY IN SONG PAGE
TO STARTING PAGE

You can email me at
manfredh@mainz.netsurf.de