The B-side of B. Len Chandler, a topical singer from Greenwich Village who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery, wrote his own version: Come all you Northern liberals, take a Klansman out to lunch, But when you dine, instead of wine, you should serve nonviolent punch. "Which Side Are You On?" My daddy was a miner And I'm a miner's son And I'll stick with the union Till every battle's won . The question renews itself as each generation struggles against inequality. “Which Side Are You On?,” written from acute personal trauma, has been universalized, both in lyric and musical modality. tells the story of the classic union song that was written in 1931 by Florence Reece in a rain of bullets. Stormking Music, 1933.About the Author: Florence Reece (1900–1986), the wife of a coal miner and organizer for the National Miner's Union in Harlan County, Kentucky, wrote "Which Side Are You On?" This is the British English definition of whose side are you on?.View American English definition of whose side are you on?.. If you could look at the photo, you would see one girl in the line of dark-skinned Latinas to the far right looking down, and that is me, sticking out as usual. The sheriff’s department acted as enforcers for the mine operators. A powerful song written by the wife of a union organizer in 1931, popularized by the radical folk singer Pete Seeger and later adapted by the civil rights movement, perfectly expresses the moral question of our particular political moment: “Which Side Are You On?” I hear the refrain of that song in my mind each time I read about a fresh new horror in the ongoing crisis of Lyrics: Come all of you poor workers / Good news to you I'll tell / Of how that good old union / Has come in here to dwell / Which side are you on? Which side are you on? Editor: Aaron Gilbreath; Fact-checker: Ethan Chiel, Create your own site at WordPress.com arrow-right, Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. Which side are you on? Reece couldn’t have known that what she created would become the most durable anthem of the labor movement, and a template for protest songs for decades to come. Soon there was a general strike. is one of the best known. He likes how one informs the other. Pete Seeger begins with a stark, descending banjo riff — a foil for the upcoming single-string guitar melody — and then sings the first verse. My daddy was a miner He's now in the air and sun He'll be with you fellow workers Until the battle's won You seed them starve to death too. Florence's husband Sam was a coal miner in Kentucky. Which side are you on? Don’t have an account? The next morning, Florence, in her words, “tore a sheet from a calendar on the wall,” and wrote a new lyric to an old melody. (Yes, you read that right.) They sang folk songs — some they wrote and some learned from others — that were pro-union and anti-war. 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Mellow_Harsher submitted the album for The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2 by The Mountain Goats. They certainly employed, to great effect, the Almanac Singers’ call and response arrangement, bringing altogether more church into the proceedings. We hear harmonies now, as sympathetic as a friend, as organized as a union. The chorus is a haunting response to his call, sung by a group of voices. Now with a library of over 300,000 user-submitted interpretations, if you want a song interpreted, Lyric Interpretations is the place to be. Which side are you on, boys? Change your default dictionary to American English. Which side are you on? A. Robertson's 1979 single "Goosebumps" is entitled "The B-Side" and contains lyrics from the song's point of view. Stay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert sort form. Every dollar you contribute goes to writers and publishers who spend hours, weeks, and months reporting and writing outstanding stories. Which Side Are You On song meanings Add your thoughts No Comments. “You have to be on one side or the other,” she once said. Finally, we were blessed with “Side to Side,” a catchy pop tune featuring Nicki Minaj that’s all about having so much sex you can’t walk straight. “In the course of such fights, songs expressed people’s feelings in a manner that allowed them to stand together,” he said. Sam Reece worked as an organizer for the National Miners Union. Taylor Swift just dropped a new single called "Me!" Which Side Are You On ? Jim Garland, another organizer and songwriter, immediately used it as a tool for protest. Thus began a period of harassment and violence known as the Harlan County War, or more simply, Bloody Harlan. recently released her newest track, "Damage", and is likely performing it on Saturday Night Live—learn the meaning to the lyrics here. commentary and analysis you can trust. The first Almanac Singers album, Songs for John Doe, sold well enough in Communist bookstores to merit a new record. Which side are you on? “The Bible to help ’em to the next world. Which side are you on? It's hard to explain to a crying child Why her Daddy can't go back So the family suffer but it hurts me more To hear a scab say, "Sod you, Jack" Which side are you on, boys? Which side are you on? This story was funded by Longreads Members, Friends: We Need Your Help to Fund More Stories. And you can feel the generations swimming in your sea But you know that it's coming, as surely as the dawn The battle for the future, baby, which side are you on? The song was also adopted during the early 1960s by the black civil rights movement when The Freedom Singers gave it a hand-clapping, gospel feel and rewrote the lyrics. Through the rolling years, “Which Side Are You On?” has been adapted and covered by myriad artists, including Dropkick Murphys and Ani DiFranco. They ransacked the whole house and then kept watch outside, waiting to shoot Sam down when he came back. Which side are you on? That's the night I met my wife. Exploring the meanings of songs since 2003. (of food in a restaurant) served on another…. The Mountain Goats – The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2. Oh workers can you stand it? Will you be a lousy scab Or will you be a man? Which side are you on? There may indeed be one humanity; there may indeed be “no such thing as other people’s children,” but right now this world is binary, and we are called to choose. 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