Top 10 Labor Day Songs

On Labor Day yesterday, I came across The Nation magazine’s “Top Ten Labor Day Songs.” It was, as I commented on Facebook, “a complete YAWNER and so Phil Levine and enough to make younger or even middle-aged workers want nothing to do with unions.” It was, as we talked about a decade ago when we were organizing workers and building a successful union drive at a Borders bookstore in Minneapolis, the old Old Left aesthetic couldn’t survive without an acoustic guitar.

So, thanks to comments from others, here’s an alternative “Top 10 Labor Day Songs” for the post-1960s generation of young and even not so young workers. Please send others and I will add them to this list.

And, in true revolutionary spirit, in no particular hierarchy (order), & why stick to ten?

@  Grandmaster Flash, “The Message

@  Sweatshop Union, “Blue Collar Ballad

@  The Specials, “Ghost Town

@  Fela Kuti, “I.T.T. (International Thief Thief)

@  Ani DiFranco & Utah Phillips, “The Most Dangerous Woman

@  Brother Ali, “Uncle Sam Goddamn

@  KRS-One, “Black Cop

@  International Noise Conspiracy, “Capitalism Stole My Virginity

@ Hugh Masekela, “Stimela (Coal Train)

@  Kraftwerk, “The Man Machine

@  The Coup, “Ride the Fence

@  The Clash, “Working for the Clampdown

@  Linton Kwesi Johnson, “It Dread Inna Inglan (for George Lindo)


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