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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

not-for-profit - a workers'co-op - committed to social justice | 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY - 0151 708 7270

Work and Sing: A History of Occupational and Labor Union Songs in the United States

by Ronald D. Cohen - £21.99  Carquinez Press (2010)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780974412481 | ISBN 10: 0974412481

Labor songs have long pervaded workers’ culture in the United States, beginning in the colonial period and running into the 21st century. Labor unions published songbooks, labor schools encouraged singing, and radical organizations used songs about unions in political organizing, while scholars collected and published numerous books about work songs.
Work and Sing documents the publication and collecting of occupational and labor union songs, and attempts to understand their use by workers and their supporters. It is not clear how many songs were actually sung at labor rallies and on picket lines, or while at work, and by how many; but the fact of their being recorded in print or sound indicates some sort of popularity, however brief or limited. There are also numerous illustrations and a bibliography of labor songbooks.

(Price & availability last checked: January 2019)

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In booklists: Trade Unions, American Folk, Country & Political Music,
In categories: Politics & Philosophy, History & Biography, Work & Workers Rights, Music & Performing Arts, World - North America,

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