Australian Folk Songs
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The great conflict that will decide whether Australian workers are to be mere chattel slaves, or men who enjoy
the rights and liberties of that boasted constitution that the "Rule Britannia" fraternity call the grandest in
the world, is slowly but surely approaching. Let the various Parliaments in the States' pass another Bill or two
similar to Wily Wade's Industrial Disputes Act, and if the war slogan of Labor is not heard from one end of the
Commonwealth to the other, then Australian workers are worms, and deserve to be trodden on.
The Coming Battle (1908)
Hear ye the note of warning!
List! 'Tis the trumpets' call!
Wake from your slumbers, toilers,
With the battle-cry "Each for all";
All ye that delve for riches
Down in the dangerous mine,
Away from the golden sunlight,
Cursing all things Divine!
All ye who brave the billows
Far o'er the sea's blue field;
Hearts that have never faltered,
Ye who would never yield;
Men famed in song and in story,
Bravest of Britain sons brave,
List! 'Tis the Slogan of Labor
And there's morethan the flag to save!
All ye at the clanging anvil,
Watching the iron's red glow,
Welding the molten metal,
Forging the chains of woe,
Rise up your strength all workers!
No matter what, be your toil--
In the factory, the garden, or office
, Or tilling the stubborn soil.
Rise ye, who claim but to Labor
For the soul of the lost mortal man!
Preach to the world Christ's gospel;
Be first in the battle's van!
Ah, yours is the glorious privilege
To do, if you did but dare;
Go forth! Brave the hate of your masters--
With love evermore for your share!
On, on, to your birthright, comrades,
Though the legions of greed bar the way!
Your strength will e'er carry you forward,
And victory's assured in the fray.
From the Perth newspaper the Truth Saturday 11 July 1908, p. 1.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory