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  • Labor Song Parodies

    Posted February 22, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Lean on Me

    (Original by Bill Withers) New words by Julie McCall, Washington, DC

    Verse: Sometimes, on our jobs, we feel alone

    We just can’t take it

    But if we organize, history has shown

    That we can make it!

    Chorus: UNION – we can be strong

    We can have friends

    To help us carry on

    Yes we can hang on

    As long as we have a Union to lean on

    Verse: When– the boss get you down, we’ll pick you up

    Help you to fight it

    Hard times come around, but if you are wronged

    We’ll try to right it!

    Bridge: Just call on your Union, when you need a hand

    We all need somebody to lean on

    You just might have a problem that we’ll understand

    We all need a Union to lean on

    Chorus: UNION – we can be strong

    We can have friends

    To help us carry on

    Yes we can hang on

    As long as we have a Union to lean on
    Chorus

    Chorus

    Marching in the Street

    Tune: Dancing in the Street
    Lyrics: Elise Bryant, Lisa Marie Smith, Betty Coleman

    Calling out around the town,
    Get up on your feet!
    The struggle is here and the time is right
    For marching in the street
    Down on Larned, and at Lafayette, here in Detroit City…
    All we need is unions, Strong Unions. There’ll be Unions everywhere.
    There’ll be swinging, swaying, and pepper spraying
    While we’re marching in the street.

    Oh, it doesn’t matter who they are, they can’t push us back too far
    So come on everybody, grab a sign, and don’t you cross that picket line!
    We be marching, we’re marching in the streets.

    We want negotiation, not confrontation, a chance for all to meet
    There’ll be swinging, swaying, and pepper spraying
    While we’re marching in the street.
    Down on Larned, and at Lafayette, here in Detroit City….
    All we need is Unions, Strong Unions. There’ll be Unions everywhere.
    There’ll be swinging, swaying and pepper spraying
    While we’re marching in the street.

    Oh, it doesn’t matter who they are, they can’t push us back too far.
    So come on everybody, grab a sign, and don’t you cross that picket line!
    We’re marching, we’re marching in the street.
    Down on Larned, and at Lafayette, don’t forget the Motor City
    Don’t forget the Motor City, don’t forget the Motor City
    Don’t!

    My Union

    Tune: My Guy
    Lyrics: Julie McCall

    Nothing you could say could take me away from My Union
    Nothing you could do, cause my point of view is Union
    I know my rights, I’m standin’ tall
    My Union contract says it all
    I’m sayin’ it from the heart
    I can’t be torn apart from My Union

    Nothing you could find gives me peace of mind like My Union
    Nothing you could get gives me self- respect like My Union
    We’ve all fought hard for what we’ve got
    And when it comes to organizing–we’re hot!
    You’d best be believin’
    that I’m really needin’ My Union

    As a matter of opinion, I think we’re tops
    Union members are the cream of the crop
    As a matter of fact, we all agree
    That Street Heat is the place to be!

    No company lie could make me say good-bye to My Union
    No dirty tricks, cause I’m gonna stick with My Union
    I’ll stand by you, you’ll stand by me
    Cause we’ve got solidarity
    There’s not a boss today who could scare me away from My Union

    My Union Stands By Me

    Tune: Stand By Me
    Lyrics: Julie McCall

    When the boss calls me in
    And the axe is about to fall
    And the pink slip is all that I can see
    I’m not afraid, no I’m not afraid
    Cause I know the union stands by me

    CHORUS
    Oh, brothers , sisters, stand by me
    Oh, stand by me
    I know my union stands by me

    When I’m pulled off my job
    And they want to conference me
    And a grievance form is what I really need
    I’m not uptight at all
    Cause I’ll just give my steward a call
    And I know that my Union stands by me

    CHORUS

    Well, the time has come
    When we all must organize
    Cause a Union is our only remedy
    So I’ll go spread the word
    And let my voice be heard
    Cause I know that my Union stands by me.

    We Are UNION!

    Tune: We Will Rock You

    Thump, thump, CLAP
    Thump, thump, CLAP
    Thump, thump, CLAP
    Thump, thump, CLAP

    WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!
    WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!

    We’re demanding fairness
    Bosses* couldn’t care less
    We’re gonna fight for our rights today
    It’s a big disgrace, a slap in the face
    They’re tryin’ to cut back* all over the place

    WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!
    WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!

    No more Union-busting
    It is so disgusting
    We’re organized and we’re here to stay
    Put on the heat, out in the street
    Union power can never be beat

    WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!
    WE ARE, WE ARE UNION!

    *Put in the name or your boss or company

    **Put in your own issue

    Punch It In Is All We Do

    Tune: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
    Lyrics: Julie McCall

    Down, dooby, doo, down, down
    My computer’s down, dooby, doo, down, down
    My computer’s down, dooby, doo, down, down
    Punch it in is all we do

    Right from the day we got those VDTs
    My life has been so full of misery
    No one knows what we’ve been through
    And punch it in is all we do.

    Remember when you held that pencil tight
    And all you needed to know was how to write
    Now there’s fifty different screens to view
    And punch it in is all we do.

    They say that using software’s hard to do
    Now I know, I know that it’s true
    This program’s blowing my mind
    I tried to enter EKG, it came up under valentine!

    I wish I knew which switch to pull
    I think the situation’s terminal
    The system’s down and I am too
    Cause punch it in is all we do

    Hospital Workers

    Tune: Stars and Stripes Forever
    Lyrics: Paul McKenna

    We’re hospital workers out on strike
    Struggling to make a decent living
    Fighting the bosses and the scabs
    And we are not about to give in.
    We’re demanding living wages,
    We gotta get a raise!
    We gotta get a raise!
    Our wages are outrageous
    We gotta get a raise NOW!

    Oh, we’re out walking on the picket line
    And we’re ready to keep on walking.
    And to carry around our picket signs
    Til the management sits down to do some talking

    When they hear us singing Solidarity Forever
    (Yes, the union makes us strong.)
    With our voices proudly raised in harmony together.
    (Come and sing our union song.)

    We shall overcome the opposition
    Of the hospital employers.
    We shall not be moved by their injunctions
    And their high-priced downtown lawyers.
    Our enthusiasm won’t diminish
    We are in the battle ’til we finish.
    Til the bosses hear what we are saying
    Realize that we’re not playing

    We’ll stay out in the heat and the cold
    Through the wind and the rain and the weather.
    Our union is going to prevail.
    Stick together and we won’t fail.
    We’ll stand hand in hand unified
    And we won’t let the scabs and bosses bust us.
    With courage and spirit and pride
    We will unite to wage the fight
    For Bread and Justice. Hey!

    I Can’t Survive

    Tune: I Will Survive
    Lyrics: Lynn Marie Smith and Lisa Canada

    First I was afraid, I was petrified
    Kept thinking I could never live on six twenty-five.
    I thought I’d earn a living wage when the stock began to rise
    But I was wrong and then I tried to get along

    I broke my back, picked up the pace
    I go to work, do as I’m told, without a say about my fate.
    I should have asked the CEO with all the guards around the door
    To share the millions that he makes while the rest of us stay poor.

    Oh, let’s go, let’s turn the page
    I joined the union so I could make a living wage
    You corporate bosses tell the workers they are great
    We agree, now we want more but we can’t wait.

    Oh, no, not I, I can’t survive
    Oh, without a living wage I don’t know how I will get by.
    I’ve got all these bills to pay even though I work all day
    And I can’t survive, I can’t survive.

    At first I was afraid, I was petrified
    Kept thinking I could never live on six twenty-five.
    I thought I’d earn a living wage when the stock began to rise
    But I was wrong and then I tried to get along

    I broke my back, picked up the pace
    I go to work, do as I’m told, without a say about my fate.
    I should have asked the CEO with all the guards around the door
    To share the millions that he makes more than the CEO of Ford.

    I’m standing tall, I will not fall
    Cause an injury to one of us is an injury to all.
    I deserve my equal share, make the playing field fair
    I can’t survive, I can’t survive.

    Into a Union

    Tune: Making Whoopee
    Lyrics: Glenn Plummer

    Another night, another day
    Of living tight from pay to pay
    But here’s the reason my life ain’t easin’
    Ain’t got a Union

    I go to work when work is there
    I never shirk, I do my share
    It doesn’t matter, my wallet’s flatter
    Without a Union.

    Sometimes I sit and daydream
    Wondering how things could be
    Silly to some it may seem
    But I’d like seniority

    Grievance procedure when things ain’t fair
    Vacation leisure, without a care.
    Benefit fringes, I know it hinges
    On being Union.

    We need each other, hear what I say
    Sisters and brothers, there’s just one way
    We’ve got to realize, we’ve got to organize
    Into a Union.

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