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The Spirit of Mother Jones

Andy Irvine
Lingua: Inglese


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Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (1837 – 30 November 1930) was an Irish-born American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent labor and community organizer. She helped coordinate major strikes and cofounded the Industrial Workers of the World.

Jones worked as a teacher and dressmaker, but after her husband and four children all died of yellow fever in 1867 and her dress shop was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, she began working as an organizer for the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers union. From 1897, at about 60 years of age, she was known as Mother Jones. In 1902 she was called “the most dangerous woman in America” for her success in organizing mine workers and their families against the mine owners. In 1903, to protest the lax enforcement of the child labor laws in the Pennsylvania mines and silk mills, she organized a children’s march from Philadelphia to the home of President Theodore Roosevelt in New York.
Mother Jones is dead and gone she could no longer stay
No one knew how old she was but she was often heard to say
How she was born in 1830 in the sweet County Cork
But she crossed the foaming billows till she landed in New York

Mother Jones the miners’ angel must be treated with respect
She’s an old-fashioned lady and you never would suspect
That this gown and this bonnet would fill the rich man full of dread
“She’s the most dangerous woman in America!”, they said

I see her marching down the street with her umbrella in her hand
I can hear her still at Ludlow where the miners made a stand
And she says: “John D. will you kindly tell to me
How could you let your troopers lay them thirteen children down?”

In the horrors of West Virginia and in Colorado too
Mother Jones and her miners they never could subdue
And the men they fought and died in their tents and shanty towns
And the women stood like a wall of steel that nothing could batter down

Mother Jones the miners’ angel must be treated with respect
She’s an old-fashioned lady and you never would suspect
That this gown and this bonnet would fill the rich man full of dread
“She’s the most dangerous woman in America!”, they said

“And it’s now for the evils of child labour”, says she
And the march of the mill children took place in nineteen three
From Philadelphia to New York and she says: “I’m going to show
Wall Street the flesh and blood they squeeze to make their dough”

When she died in 1930 O the sadness was profound
And they laid her to rest in a Union burial ground
And she lies in Mount Olive where the midnight wind it moans
“Stand up for the Union!”, cries the spirit of Mother Jones

The rich man and his police and his pulpit and his press
Got away with murder then they’d get away with it yet
But we’ll form a mighty union and we won’t be overthrown
And we never will forget the spirit of Mother Jones

inviata da dq82 - 10/4/2017 - 15:53


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