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‘Bread and Roses’ – the struggle goes on

22 Sep

“Bread and Roses” is a song with a long history.  It has been associated with a textile strike in Massachusetts, US, in 1912.  It is about the need for both physical and spiritual, or cultural sustenance.

bread-and-roses-8hour-rule

“The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”

[…]

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.

This is a quite haunting and rousing version by Judith Collins:

This video has some relevant images set to Joan Baez’s version of the song:

Lyrics, from the Wikipedia link above:

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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Posted by on 22/09/2014 in Uncategorized

 

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