Synopses & Reviews
This is indeed an incredible endeavor. For sure the most comprehensive collection of rebel workers' songs and poems ever compiled in English. It includes ALL the songs that appeared in the IWW's celebrated "little red songbook" from 1909 through 1973, plus dozens of others that never made it into the songbook. Here are the songs of Joe Hill, T-Bone slim, Dick Brazier, Ralph Chaplin, Covington Hall and other Wobbly legends; lesser knowns, but ought to be legends such as Eugene Barnett, Paul Walker, and Henry Pfaff; for the first time anywhere, a good selection of songs by women Wobblies: Anges Thecla Fair, Laura Payne Emerson, Sophie Fagin, Jane Street, Laura Tanne and others; songwriters from other continents, including Australians Bill Casey and Harry Hooton, the Englishman Leon Rosselson, Germans Ernest Riebe and John Olday, and the Scotsman Douglas Robson. A special section focuses on variants and parodies of IWW songs: a Depression-era version of "Hallelujah I'm a Bum," Jack Langan's 1960s version of "Solidarity Forever," an Earth First! adaptation of Joe Hill's "There is Power" by Walkin' Jim Stoltz, and Hazel Dickens' bold update of "The Rebel Girl." Best of all, perhaps is the wealth of essays, analysis, references, bibliographies, and discographies, provided by Archie Green, his coeditors, and other collaborators, providing not only historical/biographical context, but also a wide range of perspectives on the Wobbly counterculture and its enduring legacies. And there's an afterword by Utah Phillips!