Eight Hours Song

Dublin Core

Title

Eight Hours Song

Subject

Knights of Labor, Labor songs, sabre, Eight Hour Day, eight hours, union, unionism, Trade Union, Trade Unionism, labour, labourer, work, worker, working class, unions, Felix McLaren

Description

Working or labour songs were a feature of nineteenth century (and later) union gatherings and processions. The songs and communal singing evoke peasant or folk traditions. The song gives the workers the high-ground because they resort to moral rather than bellicose means to gain the Eight Hours Day. They are proud to declare they did not shed blood for their ‘crown’.


Transliteration from Trove [HH]

All hail to the Knights of Labor!
All hail to the Eight Hours Day!
Far better than wielding the sabre,
Is your peaceful and grand display.
Your banners float proudly over
To tell how your cause was won
Since the time when your day would cover
From rising to setting sun.

But do not forget you have brothers
Who toll in the midnight’s gloom,
Or sisters, perchance, or others
Who are wasting their youthful bloom;
Who sweat when they world is sleeping,
To win starvation’s meat,
With no relief save weeping –
Their lot is hard indeed.

All hail to our glorious Union!
Success to the A.M.A.!
That fought like brave and true men
Till they gained the Eight Hours Day.
No sanguine conflict marred the strife,
‘Twas moral force alone
That gained the glorious victory
That might adorn a throne.

Creator

McLaren, Felix

Source

National Library of Australia

Date

5 October 1898

Rights

Public Domain

Format

Newspaper, Labour Song

Language

English

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Labour Song in Newspaper

Files

Citation

“Eight Hours Song,” Medievalism in Australian Cultural Memory, accessed June 25, 2021, https://ausmed.arts.uwa.edu.au/items/show/287.