Australian Folk Songs

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Hold The Fort (1917)

A Strike Song.

Singing choruses is a new feature of strikes in Australia. One sang in
the Domain the other day is that of the English Transport Workers :--

We meet to-day in Freedom's cause,
And raise our voices high,
We'll join our hands in union strong,
To battle or to die.

Hold the fort, for we are coming,
Union men be strong ;
Side by side we battle onward,
Victory will come.

Look, my comrades, see the Union,
Banners waving high ;
Reinforcements now appearing,
Victory is nigh.

See our numbers still increasing,
Hear the bugle blow ;
By our Union we shall triumph
Over every foe.

Fierce and long the battle rages,
But we will not fear ;
Help will come whene'er its needed,
Cheer, my Comrades, cheer.


From the NSW newspaper the The Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer Previous issueTuesday 14 August 1917, p. 2.

"Hold The Fort" has an interesting trajectory. It was certainly used by Transport Workers in Britain but it ia a parody of a 1870
American hymn composed by Philip P. Bliss who wrote it after hearing Major Daniel Webster Whittle narrate an experience in the American Civil War.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory