The Beginning, The Struggle and The Reward (2011)

Tom Edwards (1919) Lyrics (c) Steve Towson 2011. All rights reserved

The Preacher and The Slave - Tom Edwards (1919)

The Preacher and The Slave
(Traditional written by Joe Hill)

Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer in voices so sweet

You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die

And the Starvation Army, they play,
And they sing and they clap and they pray,
Till they get all your coin on the drum,
Then they tell you when you're on the bum


If you fight hard for children and wife
Try to get something good in this life
You're a sinner and bad man, they tell,
When you die you will sure go to hell.


Working folk of all countries, unite
Side by side we for freedom will fight
When the world and its wealth we have gained
To the grafters we'll sing this refrain

Chorus (modified)
You will eat, bye and bye,
When you've learned how to cook and how to fry;
Chop some wood, 'twill do you good
You'll eat pie in the sky when you die
That's a lie

Tom Edwards (1919)
(written by Steve Towson) (c) (2011)

In Fremantle
there's a man I used to know
his name was Tom Edwards
a friend and close confidant
but that all changed in 1919

we worked on the docks
everyday loading their freight ships up
oh but the times were getting hard
for a man to earn a basic wage
but that didn't matter in 1919

So should the shareholders be made to pay
when they use their influence to restrict the basic wage
of working people trying to survive from day to day
tell me what has changed since 1919

so we went on strike
for us workers and union demands
but tell me how can you fight against forces
well at least we tried in 1919

So should our politicians
be made to wear the blame
when they use their power to inflict such harsh pain
keeping men and women in a subservient state
tell me what has changed since 1919

so we formed our lines
arm in arm in solidarity
and as the cops fixed their bayonets
and singled out our delegates
I saw him fall in 1919

So should our working people
forget their history
all of our struggles will have all been in vain
for the 8 hour working day
and racial and gender equality

lest we forget 1919