Weekend Music Enjoyment: Bread and Roses, A New World Is Possible

Posted: October 10, 2014 in Call to Action, for your reflection, From us to you, Solidarity, Weekend Music Enjoyment

One of the most beautiful renditions of the song Bread and Roses by Judy Collins. For our series Weekend Music Enjoyment this song was picked by Mary Dickens who is a cleaner in a high rise building downtown.  We are asking friends and comrades to pick a song that helps to further our agenda that of justice and building of the new world. From Wikipedia we learn about this song with these lines:

Bread and Roses” is a political slogan as well as the name of an associated poem and song. It originated from a speech given by Rose Schneiderman; a line in that speech (“The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”  inspired the title of the poem Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim. The poem was first published in The American Magazine in December 1911, with the attribution line “‘Bread for all, and Roses, too’ — a slogan of the women in the West.”[2][3] The poem has been translated into other languages and has been set to music by at least three composers.

It is commonly associated with the successful textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts during January–March 1912, now often known as the “Bread and Roses strike“.

The slogan pairing bread and roses, appealing for both fair wages and dignified conditions, found resonance as transcending “the sometimes tedious struggles for marginal economic advances” in the “light of labor struggles as based on striving for dignity and respect”, as Robert J.S. Ross wrote in 2013.

To read more about this song and the Lawrence Mass textile strike go to HERE.

Lyrics to Bread and Roses:

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”
As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!
As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for roses, too!
As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!


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